Asian pears looking good
Asian pears are Western Fresh’s second-biggest offering from Chile, accounting for 200,000 boxes last year.
Kragie said Western Fresh imported 65% of the Asian pears shipped from Chile to the U.S. last year, and he expects that to increase by at least 5% this year.
Kragie said Western Fresh’s growers lost up to 20% of their early varieties to the freeze, but the company expects its overall asian pear volume to be on par with last year because of new plantings in the middle and later varieties.
Kragie said Western Fresh expects to have asian pears from Chile from mid- or late February into July.
This is Western Fresh’s sixth season as a direct importer of Chilean fruit.
Kragie said the company hopes to increase its Chilean volume to 1 million packages per season within the next five years.