Code of ethics for the West Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association
This code is intended to aid Christmas tree growers singularly and together in maintaining a high level of ethical behavior. It is a statement of standards by which a grower may determine the propriety of his conduct in his relationship with his customers, his fellow growers, and the public.
Section I – The principal purpose of Christmas tree growers is the production of quality Christmas trees–ever striving to develop trees of greater beauty, utility, and function. A secondary but important purpose is the building of a vigorous agricultural industry in our state which will contribute to the economic welfare and stability of individual growers and their communities alike.
Section II – a grower of Christmas trees must always act in harmony with nature and produce his crop in conformity with established principles of wise land use in regard to soil and water conservation. He should remain mindful of his responsibility to God and man, as a steward and temporary custodian of the land he occupies, so that when his stewardship comes to an inevitable end his land will show increased fertility and greater productive power.
Section III – Growers should could try constantly to improve and increase their agricultural knowledge and skill and share with all other growers the advantages of their research, experience, and attainments. They must support the concept that a healthy industry can be built only upon a free exchange of information as it is acquired and developed.
Section IV – Christmas tree growers should safeguard the public and themselves against unscrupulous producers and sellers. They should abide by all laws–federal, state, and local–and should expose without hesitation illegal conduct pertaining to the production, distribution, and selling of Christmas trees.
Section V – Growers should not sell nor allow to be sold diseased or insect infested trees where the sale of such trees may reasonably be expected to spread these and other harmful agents; they should cooperate fully with the professional Foresters, Entomologists, Pathologists, members of Extension Services, and all others in the detection, control, and eradication of harmful diseases and insects.
Section VI – In the production, distribution, and marketing of Christmas trees, fair and legitimate competition shall not be discouraged. Precepts inherent in our free enterprise system must not be violated. Monopolistic and price-fixing practices will neither be entered into or condoned.
Section VII – Price cutting below the growers established scale with the deliberate purpose of capturing a competitor’s market wholly or in part shall be regarded as unfair competition and an unethical practice.
Section VIII – Misleading advertising, inaccurate labeling as to grade, species, cutting data, or otherwise, and any other willful representation of fact, in regard to the sale, production, or handling of Christmas trees should be exposed when possible and never resorted to by ethical growers.
Section IX – A growers responsibilities extend not only to his customers but to those activities and procedures that improve and enhance the welfare of the other individual producers, the community in which he lives, and the economy which sustains him and the industry as a whole.