David J. Elliot & Son adds packing line

Courtland, Calif.-based tree fruit grower-shipper David J. Elliot & Son added a packing line to its facility in time for the start of pear season.

A new eight-lane electronic weigher and sizer began handling fruit July 8, said David Thiessen, sales manager.

“It will enable us to increase our production at least 30% if the market warrants it, as well as enhance our ability to pack a wide variety of pack styles,” Thiessen said.

Besides pears, David J. Elliot & Son offers cherries and kiwifruit.

The company started packing stark crimson pears July 1, then bartletts on July 8. Golden boscs were expected around July 28.

The remaining varieties come off in early to mid-August and pear sales usually finish by the end of October.

“We have a large red pear crop, and with the addition of our new packing line we are positioned to increase our total production from last year on bartletts,” Thiessen said.

Moreover, this is the first year that David J. Elliot & Son is offering organic bartlett pears. Those are in limited production.


Viva Tierra Organic bartlett volume rises

Viva Tierra Organic Inc. expects to market about 20,000 more boxes of organic bartlett pears packed by Courtland, Calif.-based Greene & Hemly Inc. than last year.

“We were up on boscs last year, and we’re going to be up on the bartletts this year,” said Matt Roberts, sales manager for Sedro-Woolley, Wash.-based Viva Tierra Organic. “Greene & Hemly continues to transition more acres to organic.”

The pears are grown by Greene & Hemly and by other suppliers whose products is packed there.

“It will be a good crop coming on top of a larger-than-normal crop out of the Southern Hemisphere,” Roberts said. “There hasn’t been any lack of pears. Last year the Southern Hemisphere was pretty much over at this point. This year there’s still more to sell — later varieties, not bartletts — but it’s wrapping up pretty quickly.”

“It’s supposed to be a nice crop this year, clean and better sized than last,” he said of California organic pears.