Modernisation of agriculture
If we wind forward a little in Denmark’s history, we can see Danish agriculture take a huge leap forward when the tractor comes to Denmark just after World War II. Farms became fewer, but larger. They shifted even more from being family-run operations to professional businesses, and those that fared best bought up land and grew into mid-sized companies with a number of employees.
That picture still holds true today, and it makes ever greater demands on farmers and not least the capital required if you want to acquire a farm.
The many changes to production over the years have required investment, loans and new solutions, such as agricultural leasing and financial advisory services – just as in the Ewers Brothers case. In recent years, the sustainability agenda has had a massive impact on agriculture, just as it has on the industrial sector around the world.
In 2020, there were 8,500 full-time farms operating in Denmark – most of them were, and are, specialised in order to be able to compete on the international food market.
A good example of specialised production that at the same time attempts to solve some of the world’s major challenges, is so-called vertical farming. Here, producers cultivate food in vertically stacked layers independent of soil and weather. This makes it possible to grow crops in cities, and potential sustainability benefits include the food not needing to be transported very far to reach consumers. Furthermore, the solution offers the opportunity to produce more as world populations grow.
Vertical farming marks a dramatic change in farming compared to when the Ewers brothers’ great-great-grandfather started the family business in the 1800s. Likewise, there has been a dramatic change in the needs of society and business.
Just as Landmandsbanken invested in the transformation of agriculture 150 years ago, Danske Bank is now contributing to sustainable growth for future generations by, for example, supporting companies with tools, advice and funding.
And Ewers Brothers – they are still customers of the bank and are now a major export company with annual revenues in the billions.