The Life cycle of a Christmas tree

Did you know that about 30 million Christmas trees are bought in Germany every year? At around 75 percent, the Nordmann fir is by far the most popular Christmas tree among Germans. Before the Nordmann fir can be set up in our living rooms at home, the seeds must first be harvested for growing in Germany or Denmark. What few people know is that 80 percent of the seeds of all Nordmann firs come from the economically underdeveloped region of Racha in Georgia. The trees there bear particularly high-quality seeds that are ideal for growing Christmas trees. The firs that emerge from them are of the best quality and, with their lush green, soft branches, visually meet the high demands of German customers. To get at the seeds, the cones are picked from the 30-metre-high tree tops in a phase lasting several weeks in September. There, safety standards during harvesting are often inadequate and the workers are hardly trained for their risky work, are not insured and receive low wages. We at toom want to change that!

What are Fair Trees®?

We at toom want to make our contribution: for every Nordmann fir sold, a new Fair Trees® tree is planted. In doing so, we take special care to protect the animal and plant world by agreeing special specifications with our suppliers on the use of pesticides that go beyond the legal requirements. You can recognise Fair Trees® Christmas trees by the Fair Trees® logo and the PRO PLANET label, which identifies more sustainable products.

Together with the Danish foundation Fair Trees®, toom campaigns for fair working conditions and more safety during the cone harvest in Georgia.

This means:

  • The cone pickers receive professional climbing equipment and double safety during harvesting
  • All cone pickers complete a 5-day climbing training course under German standards, followed by a test before each harvest season.
  • Fair wages are paid
  • Accident insurance during the harvest season
  • Year-round health insurance for the family of the cone pickers
  • Rehearsal of behaviour in case of accidents in a first aid course of the Red Cross
  • Establishment of rescue routes in the forest and emergency strategies to ensure quick help in case of accidents

Follow us to the beginnings of our Christmas trees.

Support for social projects in the region

In addition, with every fir sold, toom supports the Fair Trees® Foundation in implementing numerous social projects in the harvesting region in Georgia. For example, a dental practice has already been set up in one of the local primary schools, where children receive free treatment, computer and sports equipment has been provided and scholarships have been awarded to pupils from the region. In addition, the children from the region receive a thorough annual health check by the Curatio medical clinic.

This is what we have already achieved with Fair Trees®.

Among other things, we started a three-year cooperation with the Red Cross Georgia, which has already facilitated a summer camp for 50 young people as well as first aid and disaster training in kindergartens and schools. In addition, chemistry and physics labs were opened in three schools, accompanied by Danish teachers. Furthermore, numerous materials were donated to an art school as well as furniture and televisions for a Georgian orphanage.

toom is also involved in the health sector together with the Fair Trees® Foundation: the already established children's dental practice was expanded to another region and now treats another 500 children for dental complaints. In addition, adults and children have the opportunity to go for regular cancer screenings in order to detect and treat any disease at an early stage.