Pear Bureau Northwest celebrates 85 years of their fruitful 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, the oldest of its kind. 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 1600 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% 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 robust magazine and in-store radio advertising campaigns, social media initiatives including the world’s largest web site dedicated fresh pears that educates consumers on pear varieties, sharing recipes, tips on and how to tell when pears are ripe, and nutritional benefits of pears. We also work directly with retailers to improve their USA Pears sales performance with custom category analysis, promotions, sampling, training programs and more. Each year, PBNW fans and the industry celebrates National Pear Month in December through a proclamation from USDA.
“We are proud to be a part of an incredible industry and community,” says Kevin Moffitt, President and CEO at Pear Bureau Northwest.”We remain focused on increasing pear consumption among consumers worldwide while helping retailers sell more pears in their stores. All of our activities keep grower returns strong and their way of life sustainable.”
To celebrate 85 years, Pear Bureau Northwest will be conducting world-wide pear sampling day in December, an effort to ever increase the number of pear lovers in the world.