Levinsen in Georgia

Abies nordmanniana from the Ambrolauri Forest District in Georgia forms the basis for the majority of Northern Europe’s Christmas tree production. Ambrolauri Forest District is located in the north-western part of Georgia with the 3 main forest parts situated around the Shaori Lake.

One, Ambrolauri/Tlugi, is the most sold of all provenances of Nordmann spruce seeds for Christmas tree production in Europe. The other, Ambrolauri / Nikortsminda, has long been in our range and will also be there in the future. The third, Ambrolauri/Skvava, has not been issued with harvest licenses, but it has previously been in our range.

In the recent field trials, Ambrolauri/Tlugi gives the best yield, understood as number of ON trees, of all Georgian provenances. There are signs in these results that lots harvested within well-defined areas give a more stable yield over time. A fairly recent comparison of provenances, conducted in the form of a sales marking of marketable trees in a multi-provenance culture, confirms that well-documented provenances yield a high yield of ON trees. Ambrolauri/Nikortsminda also came in here with a fine yield.

Levinsen uses a system for collecting and documenting our seed lots that meets the requirements that the latest tests and comparisons point to as crucial. It allows us to work in the forest at department level – or down to letter level, should anyone need it. This quality assurance system consists of 3 main elements:

  1. Personal presence throughout the cone harvest.
  2.  GPS-based monitoring of the location of the picking groups within our license areas, supported by highly detailed electronic forest maps running on the PDA.
  3. A registration system for all bags, which starts with the delivery of bags to the pickers and goes through the marking of the bags at the picking location to the storage of the bags in the cone barn. It accompanies the sacks to the dry cleaner in Tbilisi and includes the entire weeding and cleaning process, with registration of the weight of the delivered cone quantity for each seed lot up to the amount of finished seed in the lot.

The close and very open collaboration with our Georgian partner, Jadvari-Abies Ltd., is an important prerequisite for the effectiveness of this quality assurance system.

This collaboration also applies to the responsibility towards pickers and other employees, who are all secured through individual employment contracts and workers’ compensation insurance coverage, as well as the responsibility towards the rural towns and local communities where the harvesting activities take place. The latest development in this work is the certification according to the SA 8000 standard by Jadvari-Abies Ltd., covering all the processes from cone harvesting to sending the cleaned seed to Denmark.

We are in Georgia several times a year. We are present throughout the harvest, but also go there during the summer to assess harvesting possibilities, as well as with business partners who are interested in experiencing the area and our production.

All this means that the seed can be sold as organic, responsibly harvested seed, with full transparency throughout the value chain. Read more at responsibleorganicseed.com