Speaking during a visit to Rathcon Christmas Tree Farm, Andrew Doyle T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine encouraged people to buy a real Irish Christmas tree this year. Highlighting how society has become so much more aware of the negative impact plastic is having on our environment Minister Doyle said: “I believe choosing a real Irish tree over a plastic tree will be a conscious decision for most Irish families this year.”
The Page family has been growing Christmas trees on their farm at Rathcon in West Wicklow since the late 1980’s when they decided to diversify away from traditionally mixed farming enterprises. Commenting on the market, Minister Doyle explained how consumers now demand a high-quality tree with the result that grower’s skills have really improved in recent years. He said, “managing the Christmas tree crop is a year-round task involving a significant time commitment.”
This year the Irish Christmas Tree Growers Association is continuing its “Love a Real Tree Campaign” which encourages consumers to purchase a local real tree as opposed to an imported artificial tree. Trees grown by members of the Irish Christmas Tree Growers Association carry a “Real Irish Christmas Tree” label showing the tree has been grown in accordance with the Association’s code of good practice resulting in the production of quality trees in an environmentally friendly manner.
The Minister concluded: “Around 600,000 Irish Christmas trees are expected to be harvested this year with a third of these exported mainly to the UK where Irish trees occupy a premium part of the market. Irish consumers can be assured that they are buying the freshest and the best when they buy an Irish tree. Real Christmas trees are more environmentally friendly, carbon neutral and everyone who buys an Irish tree is supporting Irish farmers and contributing to providing jobs in rural Ireland. At home, we always have a real tree. It would not be the same without one.”