Pears During COVID-19 Pt 2

Pears During COVID-19 Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Just like everyone else, the pear industry is facing impacts brought on by the coronavirus COVID-19. From learning how to reach consumers through the hobbled supply chain, to ensuring there’s enough labor to harvest the upcoming crop, the pear industry is looking for answers.

Kathy Stephenson, with Pear Bureau Northwest, says the need for labor is fast approaching …

STEPHENSON … “You know, a lot of times we’re looking to California to see how things start as the growing season goes north, if you will, and a lot of those folks that are in the salad bowl region of Central California are struggling and really being out front and working on making sure the necessary, essential workers are here.”

Stephenson says a lot of produce groups are investigating …

STEPHENSON … “A lot of progress is being made by our industry and the folks that lead that charge through, for instance, Northwest Horticulture and other groups.”

A lot of eyes, Stephenson says are following these concerns …

STEPHENSON … “So, they’re very much in front of it. I think it’s early to tell, but obviously when you’re getting prepared to watch those blooms turn into pears on your tree, I’m sure that’s very top of mind for them, so lots of folks working to make sure workers are seen as essential, that the H-2A folks are coming, so a lot of work being done in that area right now.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on the hit pears are taking from the coronavirus and how the closure of restaurants and other food services has impacted them.

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