Apr 21, 2017
Oregon, Washington pear growers vote to continue marketing order

USDA announced the results of an Oregon and Washington pear producer referendum to continue Federal Marketing Order 927, showing that 97 percent of fresh pear growers favored a continuation of the marketing order.

“We are pleased to gain the continued support and confidence of our grower members,” said Kevin Moffitt, manager of the Fresh Pear Committee of Marketing Order 927 and president and CEO of Pear Bureau Northwest. “The industry has been working together for over 85 years to increase the consumption of fresh pears among consumers around the world while supporting the viability and sustainability of the fresh pear growers and orchards.”

The marketing order allows the industry to collect and distribute vital size, grade and availability information throughout the season, as well as providing money for important pre- and postharvest research as well as funding in support of activities conducted by Pear Bureau Northwest to increase consumption of fresh pears worldwide.

“While consumer behaviors and preferences in produce continually change, we strive to keep pears relevant, providing custom category analysis to retailers and capturing consumer attention with innovative and effective promotions and initiatives,” Moffitt said.

Established in 1939, Marketing Order 927 is the longest continuously running marketing order in the United States. Pear growers have the opportunity to vote every six years on whether or not to continue the marketing order.

Ballots representing 478 growers were voted in the referendum, representing approximately 32 percent of eligible voters. The total industry vote in Oregon and Washington was 97 percent yes by number of growers, representing 90 percent of the pear volume voted.

The referendum was held from Feb. 15 to March 1 . To be eligible to vote, a grower must have produced pears within the production area from July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016.

For the marketing order to continue, it required approval either by two-thirds of the pear producers voting in the referendum or by producers representing two-thirds of the volume of pears voted in the referendum, according to Pear Bureau Northwest.

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