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Northwest Fresh Pear Crop Estimates Released for 2009 Season

Visit LazytownInitial Estimates Point to Above Average-Sized Crop from Oregon and Washington


NORTHWEST FRESH PEAR CROP ESTIMATES RELEASED FOR 2009 SEASON



Initial Estimates Point to Above Average-Sized Crop from Oregon and Washington

PORTLAND, Ore. (June 24, 2009) – As pear tree branches continue to grow heavy with fruit, the Pear Bureau’s initial estimates suggest that the 2009 Northwest pear crop will be the fourth largest crop on record. With a projected total of approximately 19.1 million standard box equivalents of pears, the 2009 crop is estimated to be approximately 10% larger than last year’s crop and 8.5% larger than the five-year average.  The projected increase in crop size is due in part to ideal weather conditions throughout the Pacific Northwest pear growing regions during the winter and spring.

Harvest begins in mid-August with Summer/Fall varieties including the Green Bartlett, the Red Bartlett, and other red pear varieties like the Starkrimson, and Winter pear varieties such as the Anjou, Bosc, Comice, Concorde, Forelle, and Seckel will be picked from late August through September.  The quality of the fruit looks excellent, with no significant issues affecting the crop to date. 

Certain pear varieties are experiencing significant growth when compared to the five-year average.  The Comice pear crop is expected to increase by 23%; the Red Anjou crop will grow by 18%; and the Bartlett crop is experiencing growth of about 12% vs. the five year average.  The Green Anjou and Red Anjou pear crops are predicted to increase by 16% and 12% over last season respectively. In addition, organic pear production continues to increase as the estimate points to 10% growth over last year for Summer/Fall varieties and 11% for Winter pear varieties, for an overall estimated crop size of more than 779,700 standard boxes of organically grown pears estimated for the 2009-2010 season.

With a good sized crop of excellent quality, Kevin Moffitt, president and CEO of Pear Bureau Northwest, is confident that the Pear Bureau’s marketing programs will continue to be effective in helping to move the crop.  “Pears have regained their position at retail as one of the world’s favorite fruits. To capitalize and expand on this we have many progressive and innovative programs in place to grab the attention of the consumer as well as retailers and foodservice operators,” said Moffitt.

Key areas in this season’s domestic marketing program include a strong push for early crop movement and utilizing key marketing periods to increase sales for specific varieties.  The Pear Bureau is also using its in-house data analysis system to custom tailor promotional opportunities for retailers nationwide, and Pear Bureau presence at consumer and trade events all over the country will support ongoing promotions.  Consumer outreach will continue with ongoing print advertising.  The Pear Bureau has also engaged in an innovative partnership with Honor Society, a contemporary pop band that is touring the country this summer and fall; retail partners have signed on to related promotions which include ticket giveaways and meet and greet events with the band taking place as Honor Society joins the bill on the “Jonas Brothers World Tour 2009” in 44 markets across the country.

An integrated communications program supports and enhances ongoing programs with consumer and trade media outreach, recipe development for both consumers and foodservice, and the launch of the new design for the world’s largest website dedicated to pears at www.usapears.org.  In addition, “Pear Panache,” the Pear Bureau’s award-winning nationwide chef recognition program, continues into its fourth year of success with this season’s first spotlighted Chef of the Month to be announced in September.

In terms of exports, the Pear Bureau anticipates that the worldwide economic recession will have an effect on business in several export markets, and the strength of the dollar could also have a negative impact.  However, the US Dollar has weakened somewhat since its high in March 2008.  To combat these challenges, the Pear Bureau will engage in promotions in 38 countries worldwide, with eighteen international marketing representatives coordinating promotions for USA Pears with activities targeted for each country’s market. Approximately 38% of the total crop will be sold outside of the United States, and top export markets for USA Pears will remain Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Russia, the UAE, and Germany.  India will continue to be the industry’s best growth market, and in India and Indonesia the Pear Bureau will be the lead cooperator conducting the “US Fresh Fruit Showcase,” a joint promotional activity with the Washington Apple Commission, California Table Grape Commission, California Tree Fruit Agreement, and Northwest Cherries. This activity will include in-store promotions with key retailers in each of the targeted countries and PR events for consumers at major shopping malls.

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About Pear Bureau Northwest
Pear Bureau Northwest is a non-profit marketing organization established in 1931 to promote the fresh USA Pears grown in Washington and Oregon, home to 84% of the US fresh pear crop.  The Bureau represents 1,600 growers and develops national and international markets for Northwest pear distribution.  For more information, visit www.usapears.org.

 

Contact:

Cristie Mather

Communications Manager

Pear Bureau Northwest

cmather@usapears.com

(503) 652-9720

Pear Bureau Northwest prohibits discrimination in all of its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, political beliefs, or disability.  Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact the Pear Bureau at (503) 652-9720.