Aug 31, 2016Pear Bureau Northwest celebrates 85 years
Pear Bureau Northwest celebrates 85 years of its collaboration with Washington and Oregon pear growers to drive demand for Northwest pears. Washington and Oregon pear growers fund the bureau through a federal marketing order. A newly created Oregon-Washington Pear Bureau began its first promotion program in the fall of 1931 with an approved $15,000 budget to market that season’s 2.1 million boxes of winter pears. On December 4, 1931 it was official as growers filed articles of incorporation in Washington.
85 years later, Pear Bureau Northwest represents nearly 1,600 growers and 50 handlers of fresh pears in four growing regions: around Wenatchee and Yakima in Washington and Mid-Columbia and Medford regions of Oregon. Today’s Northwest fresh pear crop averages 20 million boxes over the last five years and represents 84 percent of the nation’s commercial fresh pear crop. The goals of the organization are to collect and disseminate crop estimates and shipment reports, create and execute promotional activity with national and international retailers, increase consumer demand and awareness world-wide, and initiate and manage research for Washington and Oregon pear growers.
The earliest activities of the board organization included research and implementation of a pear wrap program to reduce pear damage during transportation and development of recipe brochures and nutrition messages for consumers. Today the organization stokes consumer demand through magazine and in-store radio advertising campaigns, social media initiatives including a web site dedicated to fresh pears, and nutritional benefits of pears. Pear Bureau Northwest works directly with retailers to improve their USA Pears sales performance with custom category analysis, promotions, sampling, training programs and more, according to the organization. Each year, USA Pears fans and the industry celebrate National Pear Month in December through a proclamation from USDA.
To celebrate 85 years, Pear Bureau Northwest will be conducting a world-wide pear sampling day in December.