CONSUMERS IN THE LEAD/B>
In summary, I believe there are more advantages than disadvantages to cooperation. Coalitions and open communication can allow industries and countries to rise above the competitive side and allow groups to concentrate on increasing consumption while learning about new varieties in order to develop and bring them to market. Face it: Consumers are leading the demand curve. We need to respond.
Pear and apple producers are competitors, but healthy competition can improve production and benefit the industry. Our larger competition comes from the snack foods industry.
We have come together as representatives of healthy, tasty products, to work toward increasing consumption of these products and to bring a better product to market. We will be successful because I believe consumers and governments are becoming more aware of the benefits of a healthy diet. Governments realize that preventive costs are cheaper than treatment.
One way to move forward is through coalitions and partnerships. We have seen this movement in the retail industry and, closer to home, among the packers and shippers of our products. WAPA is an example of how this can work in the global production and supply chain.
— Kevin Moffitt is president and CEO of the Pear Bureau Northwest, a trade association representing 1,600 growers in Washington and Oregon.