Christmas trees may have been more expensive this year as a result of price fixing. The Danish Christmas Tree Growers’ Association, and its director Kaj Oestergaard, have been charged with price fixing under the country’s competition laws over allegations that cost guidelines were sent to members.
Christmas tree prices have risen by between 10 and 20 per cent, with only 500,000 Nordmann trees sent to the UK this year, compared with the usual 1.5million.
The Nordmann, Britain’s most popular tree, usually costs around £35, but has been traded for up to £43.
Denmark used to grow 12 million Christmas trees a year, although, when Danish tree growers were given a cutback in grants in 2005, and EU subsidies were revised, the growers were forced to increase the price of the trees.
Germany, Denmark’s largest market that receives around 50 per cent of Denmark’s trees, would not pay the increase, and so many farmers uprooted their trees and turned to other business.
Eight million Christmas trees are now grown each year, a fall of one third.
Mr Oestergaard admitted that the group did indeed compile statistics each year on the money that its members makes from growing trees, but, he said: ‘The education of our members is not illegal and nor is sending out figures.’
Increased prices of Christmas trees have resulted in the The Danish Christmas Tree Growers’ Association, and its director Kaj Oestergaard, being charged with price fixing under the country’s competition laws.