The Plants, the Plates & the Public

                     Event The Plants, the Plates & the Public, May 2 2022, 9.30-12


See the full webinar on video.

The webinar that was arranged by University of Copenhagen in cooperation with Lund University had attracted 55 registrations form 17 different countries around the world with a majority from Denmark and the Nordics. Henrik Søndergaard – an Innovation & Collaboration Lead at Department of Food Technology, Engineering and Nutrition at Lund University opened the webinar and introduced the program and the potentials for interactivity and dialogue. After that Bent Egberg Mikkelsen, a Professor of Urban Food Systems Transformation at the University of Copenhagen gave a talk about the increasing role that the public plate is being assigned in contemporary sustainable food systems policies and strategies seen from a Danish perspective. After that Luana Swensson who is a Policy and legal specialist for sustainable public procurement at FAO Headquarters in Rome followed up with an international perspective on the potentials to lead to a transformation of the food system to a more plant based one. As regards to the how such a transformation could take place keeping the structure and conditions in the agricultural system in mind Kristian Holst Laursen, an associate professor at the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences at the University of Copenhagen then gave a talk on types and quality of different cropping strategies. Jens Brandt – a farmer himself and a Board Member at Food Bornholm followed along that track and spoke about how a protein crop strategy is about to develop at the island of Bornholm where a plant-based ecosystem with 13 growers has been created.

In the break a mini-poll was performed to get participants views on challenges and potentials of more plantbased strategies for the public plate. After that Bjarne Silberbauer - an architect and a public meal strategist at the Municipality of Copenhagen gave a presentation on the consequences that plant-based meal strategies have for the public kitchen lay-outs looking at it from a design perspective. As regards to the consumer perspective Rune-Christoffer Dragsdahl, the Secretary-General at Vegetarian Society of Denmark gave a presentation about the potentials and strategies in an increase of plant foods on the menus in different types of public kitchens. Michael Søgård Jørgensen an associate professor at Aalborg University concluded the webinar with a talk on the potential reduction of climate impact from a plant based public plate.

In the final discussion that was moderated by Betina Bergman Madsen, special consultant in innovative sustainable public food procurement, Municipality of Copenhagen. The discussion revealed that there a great variation in the types of public food service both within types but also across the world. The discussion also showed that there is a huge interest in international cooperation in the field and that participants were interested in sharing experiences in the future. For that reason a Special Interest Group has been created. Its open for all and can be assessed here:


• Will the public plate be able solve all our sustainable food systems challenges? Introduction to the webinar. Bent Egberg Mikkelsen, Professor; Urban Food Systems Transformation, UCPH

• Can the public plate take the lead in transforming the food system to a more plant based one? Luana Swensson, Policy and legal specialist for sustainable public procurement at FAO Headquarters, Rome

• Plants – what Plants? A closer technological look at how a transition to protein crops can take place. Kristian Holst Laursen, Assoc Prof. Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, UCPH

• A local community Living Lab for public plant based strategies? – the Bornholm food systems protein crop strategy case. Klaus Hansen Petersen. Coordinator at Bornholm Action Group (LAG-Bornholm). 

• Break

• Rethinking public kitchen lay-outs for a plant based future – a design perspective. Bjarne Silberbauer. Public Meal Strategist. Municipality of Copenhagen

Plant based strategies in public kitchens – is that what the consumer really wants? Rune-Christoffer Dragsdahl, Secretary-General at Vegetarian Society of Denmark 

• Potential Reduction of Climate Impact from a Plant Based Public Plate. Michael Søgård Jørgensen, Assoc. Professor, Aalborg University 

• Round table & discussion

• Chair: Henrik Søndergaard; Lund University, Innovation & Collaboration Lead at Department of Food Technology, Engineering and Nutrition


Bent Egberg Mikkelsen, Professor; Urban Food Systems Transformation, UCPH