International Market Reps Tour Northwest Pear Orchards

Representatives from around the world get firsthand experience

Portland, Ore. – (August 23, 2016)  Last week during Northwest Bartlett harvest, 21 USA Pear marketing representatives from around the world toured the pear growing regions with Pear Bureau Northwest. Key representatives from Mexico, China, India, UAE, South and Central America and more watched workers hand-pick fresh pears in the orchards of Wenatchee, Wash., followed by a firsthand look at handling and production innovations directly impacting pears bound for international markets at two pear packing facilities. Washington and Oregon growers and shippers were invited to meet one-on-one with their pear industry export representatives at Pear Bureau Northwest hosted trade fairs. Industry stakeholders learned the latest economic and produce news in world markets and caught a glimpse of upcoming pear promotion plans abroad.

“The marketing representatives learned of the USA Pear shippers’ plans and expectations for the 2016-17 season first hand,” said Jeff Correa, international marketing director, Pear Bureau Northwest. “The opportunity to build a personal relationship between the participants will lead to better returns for our growers.”

The group then moved on to Portland for three days of intensive training and idea generation, including crop updates and programs for the new season.  As pear harvest was early this season, reps will be expected to implement promotions early, as well.  US marketing reps presented new promotion ideas and best marketing practices, while a social media panel shared strategies for driving consumer interest and engagement online, promoting pear consumption worldwide. Participants also learned about Pear Bureau Northwest’s latest nutrition research and communication program.

A highlight of the Portland conference was the retailer forum where the group talked about the realities of modern retail in developed and developing countries. Jeff Fairchild, produce buyer for Portland, Ore. based New Seasons Market, and Sumit Saran from India’s Future Group fueled discussion about pear opportunities and challenges, training obstacles for produce staff, the value of data in modern retail, and effective pear promotions.  A better understanding of modern retailers’ needs ensures that Pear Bureau reps create effective, catered programs and successes.