Fir trees in Great Britain are rare and expensive

Released on 25.09. 2021

  • Three months before Christmas, Christmas tree producers in the UK are warning of shortages. Photo: Steve Parsons

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There is hardly an industry in Great Britain that is not affected by delivery problems. Now worries grow before Christmas.

London (dpa) – Three months before Christmas, Christmas tree producers in Great Britain are warning of bottlenecks. Because of strict Brexit rules and the tight labor market, there could be fewer, but more expensive Christmas trees, Mark Rofe from online retailer ChristmasTrees.co.uk told Sky News.

“We have spoken to our British producers and they all face the same challenges,” said Rofe. The costs for raw materials such as wood for pallets as well as for labor, fertilizer, labels and transport have also increased. As a result, the wholesale prices would also have increased – by 5 to 10 percent.

“This Christmas season it will be more difficult to get hold of a real Christmas tree,” said Rofe. At the same time, namely, the demand for British fir trees is increasing. Because the import costs for trees from the EU have increased since Brexit due to the higher bureaucracy and new tariffs. In addition, dealers fear delays in the time-sensitive season. Eight to ten million real Christmas trees are sold annually in Great Britain, up to three million so far come from abroad.

There is a shortage of trees and workers

Rofe sees a fundamental problem facing the industry: «Since Christmas trees take on average 10 years to grow, you can’t just cut down more trees, especially when there is a lack of manpower to harvest them or to move them around the country, ”he said. Ben Wightman from the retailer Christmas Tree World expects a higher demand for artificial Christmas trees in view of the lower supply of real fir and spruce trees.

The British Christmas Tree Growers Association was relaxed. In view of the growing environmental awareness, the demand for real Christmas trees instead of artificial ones is increasing. Thanks to a “wonderful year of growth”, however, there will be no shortages in British Christmas trees. Breeders have been assured that there will be no transport problems this season, said an association spokeswoman is not endangered. The UK’s largest poultry producer had previously warned that turkeys could be scarce for the festival. He blamed the shortage of skilled workers due to stricter Brexit immigration laws and problems in the production of CO2 due to increased energy costs. CO2 is required to stunning slaughter cattle and also to vacuum-seal packaging.

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