Made in Croatia

Chamber of Commerce Encourages Purchase of Croatian Christmas Trees

By 9 December 2020

December the 9th, 2020 - Christmas is drawing ever closer and with the festive period now well and truly here, despite it not feeling very joyous at all after a completely horrendous year, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) is encouraging the purchase of Croatian Christmas trees in order to boost domestic production.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, in order to create a truly traditional Christmas atmosphere, a Christmas tree is inevitable. The mass sale of Christmas trees will soon begin, and the most common on the market are the common spruce (Picea abies) and the silver spruce (Picea punges), and to a lesser extent ordinary fir (Abies alba).

Here in Croatia, we have about a thousand local producers who mostly sell their own Croatian Christmas trees on the domestic market.

"According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, local producers placed more than 200,000 Croatian Christmas trees out on the market last year. Given such a large number of domestic producers, the export potential is significant, especially when we take into account that last year we exported only 310 trees to Bosnia and Herzegovina which amounted to a figure less than 1,300 euros. In that same period, more than 28 thousand Christmas trees were imported, of which two thirds came from Denmark, which is otherwise the largest European exporter of Christmas trees,'' said the Vice President of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce for Agriculture and Tourism, Dragan Kovacevic, explaining that it is mostly Nordic fir (Abies nordmanniana) which thrives better in a milder climate, and called on all those in Croatia to buy live, Croatian Christmas trees this year.

Natural trees have many advantages over artificial ones. They are grown in nurseries and on agricultural land, so they don't endanger forest ecosystems. At the same time, they produce oxygen and, during their lifetime, affect the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. It is estimated that one hectare of Christmas tree growth area can absorb up to 1 tonne of CO2 per year.

Otherwise, only those natural and legal persons who are registered in the Register of Christmas Tree Suppliers can sell and produce Christmas trees, and Croatian forests (Hrvatske sume) are among the largest domestic producers of real Croatian Christmas trees.

"As part of our nursery production, we're also raising Christmas tree plantations. As of now, 140,000 seedlings of common and silver spruce have been planted on an area covering ​​approximately 40 hectares, and a smaller amount of fir and spruce spruce has been intended exclusively for Christmas trees. In the past year, about 7,300 finished products were sold, mostly to domestic shopping centres and partly in the retail segment. This year shows an upward trend in domestic market demand.

Our goal is to achieve an annual delivery of mature Croatian Christmas trees of 30 to 50 thousand pieces, both for the domestic and the European market, which is slowly opening up to us,'' said the President of the Croatian forests, Krunoslav Jakupcic.

''In this way, we strive to provide domestic producers with quality raw materials produced from seeds collected in indigenous forest stands and adapt all of that to our climatic conditions. By soing so, we continue to develop finished Croatian products, encourage private production and protect Croatian forests from illegal logging," he added.

It's worth mentioning that one single tree is grown for an average of ten years, and new ones are planted every year to replace the ones sold. Equally, the lifespan of a tree doesn't end with the expiration of the festive season. In accordance with the principles of the circular economy, the trees are collected and disposed of at composting sites, all of which is properly organised by authorised waste disposal companies.

If you want to support domestic producers and buy a Croatian Christmas tree, pay attention to the special stamps that all the trees that are sold here must have and choose the one that is produced at home in Croatia.

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