Pears During COVID-19 Pt 3

Pears During COVID-19 Pt 3

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Navigating the coronavirus challenges is something every ag producer is facing. From finding online strategies to reach consumers to finding enough labor, pears must also deal with an obstructed supply chain.

Pear Bureau Northwest’s Kathy Stephenson says food service closures are difficult…

STEPHENSON … “We had a lot of our produce wholesalers that will sell to schools as well as to small retailers, so that business has been significantly impacted.”

Stephenson says coordinating with certain partners may also be difficult …

STEPHENSON … “Pears are not a huge volume going through food service, but an important volume. And again, it’s also is a part of that purchase with some of our key partners which is wholesale produce distributors. So, that disruption is significant even if the pear volume isn’t significant.”

Stephenson says certain programs could help …

STEPHENSON … “It is important and we’re working with them to help them understand the USDA ‘Farmers to Families’ program, that that is a procurement program that should put about a $100-million-dollars a week into produce purchases and pears, as well as citrus and apples are a big part of that.”

But, Stephenson says others have it worse …

STEPHENSON … “So, we’re certainly not as impacted as much as the potato industry, for sure. It’s so tragic to see. And, milk and potatoes, and then also a lot of the proteins like beef which is one of those items that is very large in food service.”

Bottom line, Stephenson says distribution could be the biggest challenge.


BL: Welcome back to another “Fruit Bites” brought to you by Valent U.S.A. With us as always is Valent’s Allison Walston. And this week Allison, you’re going to tell us about the Bud to Box campaign.

AW: This bud to box campaign focuses primarily on the apple industry where we have developed over 20 conventional, organic and sustainable crop management solutions. Apples just highlight how the Valent Group Companies can offer products all the way from when the apples are in the bud stage to until they reach the box.

BL: Really? The entire life of the apple?

AW: We think about all the hurdles that apple can meet from before that bee pollinizes the flower until the consumer takes a bite. From delayed dormant bud applications of Esteem to combat San Jose scale to mid-season apple thinning sprays to get that perfect size apple all the way to collaborating with our sister company providing post-harvest solutions for apple storage. We are there…

BL: from bud to box.

BL: Well, thanks Allison. Join us again next time for Fruit Bites, brought to you by Valent. Until then, I’m Bob Larson.

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