Grown in Britain is launching an initiative to encourage UK consumers to buy more assured British grown Christmas trees, as it is revealed that retailers are often conned into buying imported specimens, which they believe to be homegrown.
Grown in Britain – a not-for-profit organisation that supports the UK’s woodlands and promotes British-grown forest products - says many retailers and consumers may be assuming they are buying fresh British-grown trees, when they are not.
According to Government statistics, £3million-worth of real Christmas trees were imported into the UK last year.
In response, Grown in Britain is urging retailers and consumers to support rural businesses in Britain and reduce ‘tree miles’ by checking where their Christmas tree comes from before they buy.
The organisation has created a Christmas tree licensing scheme that operates throughout the supply chain, from growers to retailers, and provides an assurance that trees are fresh and grown in the UK in a responsible way, with due regard to the environment.
Chief executive Dougal Driver said: “The UK has a flourishing Christmas tree growing sector and our auditing process checks that trees are definitely from the UK, grown responsibly and meet a strict forest floor to shop floor freshness test.”
He added: “This is the start of the campaign, with approximately 50,000 Christmas trees currently licensed for sale, but the public can really make a difference by asking their stockists to supply assured Grown in Britain trees now and in the future. This will help ensure the number of assured homegrown Christmas trees rises over time, with a consequential boost to the UK’s rural economy.”