Danish Christmas Tree Growers Association
The Danish Christmas Tree Association is a nationwide industry association that addresses approx. 4,000 businesses in Denmark related to the production of Christmas trees and greenery. The association aims at providing the most favourable political framework for the industry by collecting and analysing current and historical knowledge and information on law, economy, labour, environmental conditions, use of auxiliary products, trade and export as well as more general aspects of management within the industry.
In addition, the association also functions as a service and knowledge centre and provides advisory services within cultivation, marketing and sales as well as dissemination of industry experience and practice. The association neither buys nor sells any products of its members and is in that sense economically independent. The economical foundation of the association is based exclusively on membership fees and services provided in form of consultancy, seminars and publications.
The Danish Christmas Tree Association is a membership based association and has a secretariat with six employees – primarily on the association’s address in Frederiksberg, Copenhagen. The secretariat is responsible for the daily management of the association and implements initiatives launched by the board.
The Danish Christmas Tree Association was formed in 1984 as a subdivision of the Danish Forest Association and was initially named the Greenery Section. However, the association had its own statues and supervisory board from the very beginning.
Progressively, what started as a niche production, developed into a key component of the total earnings of the forestry sector. As a consequence, there was an increased need of becoming an independent association with a main objective of promoting production, marketing and sale of Christmas trees and greenery. Initially, the most typical members were larger estates and forest districts for which Christmas trees and greenery was a central and important source of income.
During the 1990s, especially the production of Christmas trees became more common on agricultural land and in 1997 the association changed its name to The Danish Christmas Tree Growers Association, which meant a stronger and mere independent association that were able to undertake wider interests in the industry independent from the Danish Forest Association.
In 2012 the association changed its name to the current name – The Danish Christmas Tree Association – Trees & greenery. Today, the association is an independent industry association undertaking the interests of the entire industry – from seed traders to wholesale distributors – representing both the smallest and the largest producers of Christmas trees and greenery in Denmark.
The Danish Christmas Tree Association still has close cooperation with the Danish Forest Association and there is still a mutual board representation in the two associations.
2007 price fixing scandal
On December 17, 2007 the Danish Christmas Tree Growers Association was charged with price fixing by the state prosecutor for serious economic crimes. The association was accused of sending price guidelines to its members suggesting a price increase of 10 to 25 percent.  In 2007, prices eventually rose 25 percent for Nordmann firs, the most popular variety in Denmark and most of Europe. Charges were handed down after the Danish Competition Authority warned the DCTGA in 2001 and 2005 about the same practices. Both the association itself and the association's director at the time Kaj Østergaard were charged in the case.
On September 24, 2009, the Eastern High Court handed down a judgement in the price fixing case. The Danish Christmas Tree Growers Association was fined. The court ruled that the DCGTA had published price statistics and a price calculation model, as well as other tools which were used to guide member pricing, including minimum prices. The Eastern High Court's original fines took into account the repeated warning the association had been given. The Danish Supreme Court eventually reviewed the case and imposed even stiffer fines that the Eastern High Court had. The Supreme Court fined the DCTGA 500,000 kroner and increased the fines against members of the executive committee from 15,000 kroner to 25,000 kroner. Both the association and its "manager" were convicted in the case. With the allegations and conviction the DCTGA has been repeatedly referred to as a cartel.
- Association "Managers" (often referred to as "director")
- 1984-1985: Esben Møller-Madsen
- 1985-1993: Kaj Østergaard
- 1993-1995: Asger Olsen
- 1995-1996: Jøns Dalum
- 1996-1998: Jens Søgaard Jacobsen
- 1999-2011: Kaj Østergaard
- 2011-present: Claus Jerram Christensen
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- Frampton, John and McKinley, Craig. "Christmas Trees and Greenery in Denmark: Production and Tree Improvement," American Christmas Tree Journal, 1999, Vol. 43(2):4-11, accessed September 23, 2012.
- "The Danish Supreme Court Increases Fines for Price Fixing", Eversheds, September 30, 2010, accessed September 23, 2012.
- "Christmas tree growers in Denmark are needled by price fixing probe", independent.ie, December 20, 2007, accessed September 23, 2012.
- Bertleson, Erik, and others. "Denmark", (pdf, book chapter), from Competition Law, Aspen Publishers, 2011, p. Denmark-85, (ISBN 9789041133687), accessed September 23, 2012.
- "Danish Christmas-Tree Growers Face Cartel Charges (Update1)", December 18, 2007, Bloomberg, accessed September 23, 2012.
- "Danes chop down tree cartel", canada.com via Ottawa Citizen, December 19, 2007, accessed September 23, 2012.
- Anderson, Robert. "Fir flies as Xmas tree growers are charged with price fixing, Financial Times, December 19, 2007, accessed September 23, 2012.
- "History", Danish Christmas Tree Growers Association, official site, accessed September 23, 2012.