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Stillwater Orchards/David J. Elliot & Son is ready for its first OPS show

By
Keith Loria

The Organic Produce Summit is a major event that brings people from throughout the organic produce community together for networking and the opportunity to build on current partnerships and create new ones.

All of that is done while giving companies a forum to share news about their newest products and discuss the important issues that are affecting the industry.

And this year’s summit is welcoming a new participant, Stillwater Orchards/David J. Elliot & Son.

“It’s actually the first time that we will be exhibiting at the Organic Produce Summit,” said Larelle Miller, sales manager for the company, headquartered in Courtland, CA. “We’re hoping to reach out and meet additional retailers that we’re not currently working with and introduce ourselves. We’d been wanting to participate over the last few years, and fortunately, there was an opening this year. We had been on the waiting list for the last couple of years and we’re able to participate this year.”

Stillwater Orchards will be at booth No. 343, where the family that owns the farm and company will be meeting with participants. There will also be a display of the farm’s organic Bartlett pears.

The company’s long and rich history dates back to the 1850s, when David Osborn arrived in California and settled on the delta of the Sacramento River, where he saw ideal growing conditions for pears and ordered pear trees from France. The delicious fruits were so popular — and also rare in those days — that gold miners would bid gold nuggets for pears.

The company remains family owned and is dedicated to providing its customers with the highest-quality of fruit and a variety of pears.

“We’re focused on trying to get pears front and center,” Miller said.

“Unfortunately, pears have become a fall item more so than a summer item, even though California pears are available all throughout the summer. So, we’re trying to keep retailers interested. Right now, California pears are at their best eating quality.”

Another factor that is affecting sales of pears is online shopping. As more and more people log onto their computers or phones to buy their groceries, fewer shoppers are browsing their local supermarket produce section. That means fewer people browsing a store and deciding to buy pears on the spot because they walk by a display of pears that are so appealing that they can’t help but buy them.

“The struggle that I think we have is with a lot of the e-commerce and online shopping, a lot of produce items are more impulse items that people don’t put on their shopping list,” Miller said.

“So when they’re shopping online, they don’t walk by the stand that might have Bartlett pears or other impulse items. We’re trying to figure out how to get these retailers to promote some of those impulse items before everybody checks out online.”

And with all the experience that the team at Stillwater Orchards/David J. Elliot & Son has, you can be sure it’s an organization that knows not only how to grow perfect pears, but to boost their sales as well.

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