Investment will Help Christmas Tree Growers

Following an announcement by the Agriculture Minister April 24th, Christmas tree growers in Nova Scotia are poised to benefit from government funding to strengthen the local industry, by helping farmers explore new export markets.

Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell was joined by the Christmas Tree Council of Nova Scotia the funding announcement in New Ross, Lunenburg Co. The Building Tomorrow Fund will provide $751,000 for Christmas Tree growers as part of a three-year, $9 million provincial investment in agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture.

“Thanks to our popular Boston tree tradition, our Christmas trees are exported all around the world to places like Panama, the United States and the Caribbean,” said Mr. Colwell. “I’m pleased our Christmas tree growers will be able to open even more export markets and become stronger competitors against artificial trees.”

The funding will be used to create a research and development plan, conduct field trials, develop new quality standards, engage in market research, and conduct an operational efficiency study for the development of a sustainability plan for the council.

The funding will also be used to increase the farming of SMART trees, a Nova Scotian bred Christmas tree and were developed at the Atlantic Christmas Tree Research Centre in Truro. SMART trees are more attractive to international markets, due to the fact that they are healthier, longer lasting trees that hold their needles for up to three months.

“Building from the strength of council’s strategic planning over the past year, this support could not have come at a better time,” said Angus Bonnyman, executive director of Christmas Tree Council of Nova Scotia. “We have strong demand around the world for our famous forest grown balsam firs, and plan to quadruple the value of our exports by focusing on quality and innovation.”

$1.5 million of the fund will be allocated to the agriculture sector this year, for developing new products and marketplaces to continue Nova Scotia’s export sector growth.