Danes withdraw from European tree standard

Danish Christmas tree growers surprise other growers by ignoring EU crop standards

Danish Christmas tree growers are pulling out of the European standard for the crop. The move has surprised other growers, particularly members of the British Christmas Tree Growers’ Association. Its secretary, Roger Hay, said: “They are the biggest exporters of Christmas trees in Europe, but feel they are not getting enough money from exports, especially to Germany. They feel they will get more money by only having two standards.” The move also brought the warning that British growers should keep a sharp eye on those they supply, as Danish trees of lesser quality may be offered. “This is of great concern and we need to watch the situation carefully,” said Hay. “We must be aware that we may be competing for business with lower-graded trees.” The change-of-policy announcement was made at a meeting of the European Christmas Tree Associations. The Danes said from Christmas 2004 they would no longer observe the European standards. Instead of three standards, the Danes will now only have two. The first, Prime, or Original Nordmann, will consist of the current first quality and about 65 per cent of the current second quality. The balance of stock will be grade-B standard. “British-grown trees are of high quality and I can see no reason why British growers would wish to deviate from the current standards,” Hay said.

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