Andrew Doyle TD, Minister of State at the Dept. of Agriculture, Food and Marine, has encouraged people to buy real Irish Christmas trees this holiday season.
Speaking on a visit to Christy Kavanagh’s tree farm in Newtownmountkennedy, he said: “around 550,000 Irish Christmas trees are harvested each year with 350,000 sold at home and about 200,000 trees exported, mainly to the UK, France and Germany. The industry contributes €21 million to the Irish economy.
“The professionalism and quality of the Irish Christmas tree sector is epitomised by farmers like Christy Kavanagh and Irish consumers can be assured that they are buying the best when buying from an Irish farm. Real Christmas trees are more environmentally friendly, carbon neutral and everyone who buys an Irish tree is contributing to providing jobs in rural Ireland.”
Mr Kavanagh has been in the Christmas tree business since 1980. He is also the vice chair of the Irish Christmas Tree Growers Association whose “Love a Real Tree Campaign” is now in its’ third year. The aim of the campaign, Christy said, is to encourage consumers “to purchase a real tree as opposed to an imported artificial tree.
“Having seen the competition in Germany, Denmark and Britain this year, our standards are far higher than all the rest and there is still room for improvement.”
Minister Doyle added that he was happy to see a steady trend towards people buying real Christmas trees, and commended the quality of trees produced in Ireland over recent years.
“At home we always have a real tree. It wouldn’t be the same Christmas experience without one,” he added.