Nearly every Danish farmer is a member of at least one agricultural organization and of one or more producer cooperatives. The oldest agricultural organization, the Royal Agricultural Society of Denmark, was established in 1769, but most of the other organizations have been founded since 1850. They promote agricultural education and technical and economic development. Local societies have formed provincial federations, which in turn have combined into two national organizations, the Federation of Danish Agricultural Societies and the Federation of Danish Smallholders Societies. The Cooperative Movement of Denmark comprises three groups: agricultural cooperatives, retail cooperatives, and urban cooperatives. Owners of estates and large farms belong to separate organizations specializing in the affairs of larger agricultural units.
The first producer cooperatives were formed in the 1880s at a time when Danish farming changed its emphasis from cultivation to animal husbandry. Since then, the voluntary cooperation among the farmers of Denmark has been without parallel. There is almost nothing that Danish farmers buy, sell, or export that is not handled through cooperatives. Most consumers' cooperative societies belong to the Danish Cooperative Wholesale Society, which makes bulk purchases for member societies and also manufactures various products.
The Federation of Danish Industries and the Industrialists' Association in Copenhagen represent industrial undertakings and trade associations, safeguard and promote the interests of industry, and deal with trade questions of an economic nature. The Danish Confederation of Trade Unions has also been influential. The Council of Handicrafts represents various crafts, trades, and industries, and gives subsidies to technical and trade schools. The leading organizations of the wholesale trade are the Copenhagen Chamber of Commerce, and the Provincial Chamber of Commerce. There are also active professional societies representing a broad range of career fields.
A wide variety of organizations exist to promote research and education in medical and scientific fields, such as Danish Academy of Technical Sciences. A number of national and regional cultural organizations are active, as are associations representing popular sports and recreational activities. Youth organizations include the Conservative Youth of Denmark, Danish 4-H Youth, Danish Socialist Democratic, Faroe Islands Youth Council, Greenland Youth Council (SORLAK), scouting programs, and YMCA/YWCA. Denmark has active chapters of The Red Cross, Greenpeace, and Amnesty International.