Mission of the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration
The mission of the Veterinary and Food Administration is to promote safety, health and quality from farm to table. The Veterinary and Food Administration will endeavour to span the entire process from farm to table. To do so, the entire evolution of foodstuffs must be followed starting with animal births, the landing of fish, through the food processing enterprises to the consumer's table. Plant production falls under the Danish Plant Directorate.
The Veterinary and Food Administration can promote safety, health and quality, but cannot guarantee them. This is the sole responsibility of each individual enterprise.
Safety means animal protection and safeguards against the spreading of livestock diseases and infections. Safety means safeguards against human diseases resulting from the condition of the foodstuffs or the way in which they are prepared.
To livestock, health means general well-being and the absence of livestock diseases and infections. To humans, it means food and dietary habits that result in wholesome, proper nutrition, and the absence of lifestyle diseases caused by poor dietary habits.
Food quality has traditionally been a question of appearance, taste and consistency. It still is. Today, however, quality involves something more. Quality also means the absence of toxins and drug residues beyond that which is necessary for safety reasons. Quality also means marketing integrity (i.e. no misleading), knowledge, clarity and openness regarding the production process and product contents. Quality also means manufacturing conditions, including ethical and organic farm production methods.
Vision of the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration
Our work will have a visible effect:
- Fewer people shall become ill from food, food and dietary habits shall improve, misleading shall decrease as well as the number of diseased livestock.
- We will have the best veterinary contingency capabilities in the EU – both in the event of microbiological and chemical contamination and to prevent and eradicate livestock diseases and infections.
- We shall have far-sighted, significant influence – nationally and internationally.
The fundamental purpose of the mission and vision is to give Danish citizens value for their money with respect to food control. Sometimes, it is naturally difficult to document that developments are the direct result of our efforts, because other circumstances can lead in the opposite direction, etc. We must be able to render probable that we – all other things being equal – have made a difference to the population's benefit from foodstuffs and to stop the spread of livestock diseases and infections. One of the ways, this probability is demonstrated, is by seeing how the incidence of specific diseases has developed where intervention has occurred.
Modern contingency capabilities and surveillance are necessary for food control and veterinary inspection alike. In the food-control area, new food production methods and consumer habits are constantly giving rise to surveillance. The veterinary inspection area is exposed to increasingly greater risks: increasing international transport and trade, and the introduction of new production methods increase the risk of transmitting livestock diseases and infections. As a result, our veterinary contingency capabilities shall therefore be streamlined and modernised to become more far-sighted and better prepared. Denmark's unique position as an exporter of food products of animal origin to non-EU countries makes great demands on the contingency capabilities and on the documentation of the health and contingency status.
The Veterinary and Food Administration is to be respected for its technical insight and reliability. This respect shall help us to win the confidence of the Danish population. We will lay the technical groundwork for a farsighted Danish food policy, and we want to exert influence on the public debate and on the formation of public policy related to veterinary and food issues within the EU and in international contexts.