Every year, when people traditionally dance around their Christmas trees it is likely that few, if any, consider the fact that their Christmas tree probably originated in Georgia. The vast majority of seeds used for growing Christmas trees in Europe are sourced from Georgia, where both quality and production quantity are considerably higher.
DANGEROUS WORKING CONDITIONS
For decades, the cone pickers have been working at the risk of their lives. Harvesting of seeds in Georgia is carried out by hand and under primitive conditions. The Georgian cone pickers climb up into 30 m tall fir trees in order to reach the cones, which they then pluck and throw to the ground. The cone pickers work entirely without safety equipment, which means that occupational injuries – and fatal accidents – come with the territory of being a cone picker. Fair Trees® wants to improve working conditions for the Georgian cone pickers.
A BETTER LIFE THROUGH FAIR TRADE
Fair Trees® insists that all workers take a course on safety and that they use secure climbing equipment. The cone pickers are provided with labour insurance that covers the costs of occupational injuries as well as standard medical care. Furthermore, Fair Trees supports various social initiatives ensuring education and development in the cone picker community.