For companies sourcing organic pears from California — or those in the state sourcing them from abroad — supply has been on a gradual uptick.
Courtland, Calif.-based David J. Elliot & Son is in its first year of offering organic bartletts in limited production.
Sedro-Woolley, Wash.-based Viva Tierra Organic Inc. plans to market about 20,000 more boxes of organic bartlett pears this year. They’re packed by Courtland, Calif.-based Greene & Hemly Inc.
“It will be a good crop coming on top of a larger-than-normal crop out of the Southern Hemisphere,” Viva Tierra sales manager Matt Roberts said July 8. “There hasn’t been any lack of pears. Last year the Southern Hemisphere was pretty much over at this point.”
Santa Cruz, Calif.-based Awe Sum Organics expected to sell out of South American organic pears by July 18, said David Posner, president and CEO. That was in line with plans at Awe Sum, which represents Productores Argentinos Integrados SA, a grower collective in Argentina’s Rio Negro Valley.
“Our customers want us to keep them in steady supply of organic pears until new crop will be available out of California, which should be in around two to three weeks,” he said July 10. “And we have achieved that.”
Demand for fresh organic pears in the U.S. and Canada has continued to increase about 20% or more annually, Posner said, but fresh-market acreage in the Argentina region has remained flat.
“This market dynamic has helped us to achieve higher sales prices than in recent years, while moving through all of our fruit in a timely manner,” he said. “(That) creates sustainable returns for our growers, who have been facing serious economic challenges in recent years.”
Besides some standard varieties grown in the U.S., the region offers packhams, also known as autumn bartletts, and abate fetel.
Awe Sum Organics has Fair Trade and sustainability certifications from Switzerland-based Institute of Marketecology.