Panama Among Top Importers of Canadian Christmas Trees
Did you know that Panama buys more Canadian Christmas trees than any other country, besides the U.S.?
Second only to the United States, Panama imports thousands of Christmas trees each year from Canada.
In 2014, Panama imported almost 23,000 trees according to the National Post's article, "From Quebec to Panama: Where Canadian Christmas trees are grown and shipped."
In Canada Christmas trees are a $78.4 billion dollar industry. The Toronto Star reported that Last year Canada exported 1.7 million Christmas trees to 19 countries.
Gerald Couture, a Christmas tree farmer from Quebec said, "when I tell people, ‘Oh, I grow Christmas trees,’ they all laugh at me.” However, Christmas tree sales are booming.
Couture estimates that exports now make up 90 per cent of his Christmas tree business. His biggest global customer is Panama. “We sell the snow, the freshness, the space, the cold,” he said. However, Couture explained that diving into the international market was a risk. To secure the Panama contract, Couture had to fly two inspectors to his farms in Quebec and Nova Scotia, the endeavor cost about $50,000.
One thing many Christmas tree farmers have expresses is that when they planted the first seedlings they never imagined that one day their trees would be crossing boarders!