California Pear Advisory Board Ushers in Summer Harvest
CALIFORNIA - This summer, I’m in a California state of mind. No, it’s not just because I live here—it’s because of the wave of fresh fruits and veg coming out of the Golden State that is hitting produce aisles across the nation. The latest addition to the produce party is California pears, with harvest starting in mid-July. Instead of importing pears, retailers and consumers can look forward to domestically-sourced fruit grown in the good ‘ol US of A to round out their summer produce portfolios.
“To ensure top quality, most shippers will be hand-selecting the largest fruit first and pre-conditioning so consumers can enjoy ripe, ready-to-eat fruit from the beginning of our season,” said Chris Zanobini, Executive Director of the California Pear Advisory Board.
This summer, California pear shippers are anticipating they will harvest 2.28 million packages of Bartlett pears, slightly more than last year’s crop of just over two million packages. Though Bartlett pears are the primary variety grown in California, the state will also be churning out an anticipated 500,000 boxes of other varieties, led by Golden Bosc. More offered heirloom varieties include Sunsprite, Starkcrimson, Read pears, traditional Bosc, Comice, Seckel, and French Butter, as well as a limited supply of organic varieties.
Bartlett harvest will begin July 22 in the River Delta growing region of California, with the Mendocino growing area’s harvest planned for August 5, and Lake County slated to begin on August 12. California growers are unique in that, because the state is able to offer fresh pears for its entire shipping period, they believe in harvesting and marketing the traditional way instead of using controlled atmosphere storage or chemically treating the fruit for longer-shelf life.
Zanobini told me that once mid-July hits and harvest begins, California will be offering the only freshly harvested pears available for sale, and California shippers are poised and ready to capitalize on the opportunity to promote “new crop” pears to consumers.
“Now is the time for retail stores nationwide to begin planning promotions for this early season, freshly harvested California pears,” he continued. “In fact, marketing research clearly shows the early summer pear season is absolutely the most profitable for retail pear sales.”
The California Pear Advisory Board cultivates an active social media presence on channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, so buyers and consumers can gather all the pear info their hearts desire.
“We encourage consumers and produce buyers alike to follow us on these properties for a host of recipes, handling tips, and to meet the farming families who grow their food,” Zanobini said.
To this day, around 60 farming families continue to produce pears in California orchards—some of which have been in operation for over a century. Currently, pears are sold by four California pear shipping companies—David J. Elliot and Son, Greene and Hemly, Rivermaid Trading Company, and Scully Packing.
“Today’s California pears are grown by fourth- and fifth-generation families who are farming the same land their grandparents and great-grandparents did during the California Gold Rush,” Zanobini concludes. “The California Bartlett pear is truly heirloom variety and we want consumers to enjoy the rich history of our farming community as much as they enjoy our pears.”
So whether enjoying them off the tree, in a salad, pie, or perhaps even grilled, consumers will have no trouble getting their hands on those coveted California pears.
AndNowUKnow will continue to keep you updated on all the harvest updates you crave.