Pear Bureau Northwest still fresh after 90 years
Pear Bureau Northwest celebrates 90 years of fruitful collaboration with Washington and Oregon fresh 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. In 1931, the newly created Oregon-Washington Pear Bureau began its first promotion program in the fall with an approved $15,000 budget to market that season’s 2.1 million boxes of winter pears. On Dec. 4, 1931 it was official when growers filed articles of incorporation in Washington.
Ninety years later, Pear Bureau Northwest represents more than 800 growers and 29 handlers of fresh pears in four growing regions: around Wenatchee and Yakima in Washington and around Hood River and Medford in Oregon. Today’s Northwest fresh pear crop averages 16.8 million boxes over the last five years and represents 84 percent of the nation’s commercial fresh pear crop. The goals of the organization include increasing pear consumption and grower returns through innovative promotional activity with national and international retailers. We also work directly with retailers to improve their USA Pears sales performance with custom category analysis, promotions, sampling, training programs and more.
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 continues to fund research and stokes consumer demand reaching consumers directly through digital advertising, having an active voice on all major social media platforms as well as sponsored search and banner ads working with top online shopping sites while making good use of new, attention-getting strategies utilizing QR codes to introduce consumers to our growers and Augmented Reality to excite consumers about the many ways to use pears in order to elevate everyday meals. The Bureau has also built and maintains the world’s largest web site dedicated fresh pears that educates consumers on pear varieties, sharing recipes, tips on how to tell when pears are ripe, and the nutritional benefits of pears.
“As one of just a handful of Presidents in the history of this organization, I am proud to be a part of this incredible industry and community,” said 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 during this time of unprecedented challenges. The Pear Bureau is a nimble team and we develop and execute progressive, innovative and effective advertising and promotions, all of which help keep grower returns strong and their way of life sustainable.”