California pear season will begin by mid-July, bringing the first domestic pear supplies of the year.
“To ensure top quality, most shippers will be hand-selecting the largest fruit first and preconditioning so consumers can enjoy ripe, ready-to-eat fruit from the beginning of our season,” Chris Zanobini, executive director of the California Pear Advisory Board, said in a news release.
California pear shippers are predicting they will harvest 2.28 million packages of bartlett pears this summer, according to the release. That is slightly more than last year’s crop of just over 2 million packages.
In addition to bartlett, the primary variety grown in California, the state is anticipating another 500,000 boxes of other varieties led by golden bosc, according to the release. Additional heirloom varieties to be offered include sunsprite, starkcrimson, red pears, traditional bosc, comice, seckel and french butter along with a limited supply of organic varieties.
“Now is the time for retail stores nationwide to begin planning promotions for these early season, freshly harvested California pears,” Zanobini said in the release. “In fact, marketing research clearly shows the early summer pear season is absolutely the most profitable for retail pear sales.”
When harvest begins in mid-July, Zanobini said California will have the only freshly harvested pears available for sale and California shippers are doing everything they can to capitalize on the opportunity to promote “new crop” pears to consumers.
The River Delta growing region in California will be first to harvest bartletts July 22 with the Mendocino growing area harvest predicted for August 5 and Lake County to begin August 12, according to the release. Pears are sold by four California pear shipping companies that include David J. Elliot and Son; Greene and Hemly, Rivermaid Trading Company and Scully Packing, according to the release.
About 60 farming families continue to produce pears in California on orchards that can be over 100 years old.
“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 said in the release. “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.”
Additional information can be found at www.calpear.com.