Aug 21, 2023
Pacific Northwest pear growers vote to keep marketing order

Pear producers in Washington and Oregon have voted to continue their federal marketing order this year, with the largest margin in the order’s history.

Pear growers vote every six years on whether or not to continue the marketing order. For the marketing order to continue, two-thirds or more of producers voting, or producers representing two-thirds or more of the volume voted, needed to vote in favor of continuance.

“We are pleased to gain the continued support and confidence of our grower members,” Kevin Moffitt, president and CEO of Pear Bureau Northwest and manager of the fresh pear committee of Marketing Order 927, said in a news release. “While the votes in favor of continuation have been in the mid- to high 90% range in the last four referendums since I assumed the leadership role of the marketing order 22 years ago, this vote, with 99% approval, is the best result in the history of the order.”

The marketing order enables the industry to conduct production and marketing research, and promotional initiatives as well as setting regulations to help ensure the best eating quality for pears, all under USDA’s oversight.

Graphic courtesy of Pear Bureau Northwest.

The Fresh Pear Committee, made up of elected pear growers and shippers from all four growing districts, has the authority to set the assessment rates each year that support consumer and pear agricultural research as well as advertising and promotion. The advertising and promotion funds are passed through to the Pear Bureau Northwest who conducts marketing programs to help increase consumption in the U.S. and worldwide.

Moffitt said the industry has been working together for more than 90 years to increase the consumption of fresh pears among consumers around the world. 

“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,” he said in the release. “It is gratifying to see from the most recent data from the USDA, that per-capita pear consumption increased by 25% recently, rising from 2.5 pounds in 2015 to 3 pounds per person in 2021, the latest year available from the USDA.”


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