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Strong demand for large size Williams Bartlett pears from Argentina

The first shipments of pears from Argentina have arrived into the ports of Philadelphia and Los Angeles. "Organic Williams Bartlett pears departed Argentina early February and are now available in the market," says Chris Ford with Viva Tierra Organic. They are distributed across the North America continent, including Canada. Harvest started a little later than normal due to cool spring weather. "In addition, the Williams variety was sizing a bit smaller, so we waited a few extra days," Ford commented. Overall, the Argentina pear season is looking forward to a clean crop, good quality fruit, and a good size profile. "Williams Bartlett seems to be the only variety that has difficulties sizing up," he said.

Left: Williams Bartlett variety. Right: Durondeau variety.

April is peak month
Demand for Argentina's largest pear variety, Williams Bartlett, is strong, especially for 90 ct. and larger. This is partly driven by domestic Bartlett pears being done for the season. While Washington d'Anjou pears and Bosc are still available from storage, their seasons are also winding down. "We expect to make a seamless transition from the domestic season to imports," Ford shared. Availability of pears from Argentina is expected to last through July, until the new pear crop from California starts.

While Williams Bartlett is Argentina's earliest and largest pear variety, other varieties that are on the water now include Red Bartlett, Durondeau, and Abate Fetel. These will be followed by Alex Lucas, Bosc, d'Anjou, and Autumn Bartlett. "While supplies are gradually building up, April will be the peak month in terms of availability of all flavors."

Abate Fetel pear variety.

Visiting growers
Viva Tierra's owner as well as President & CEO, Luis Acuña, is in Argentina now, visiting with growers and checking on the later pear varieties that have yet to be picked. "We are celebrating the 31st year of importing organic pears from the southern hemisphere," Ford shared. "Luis is a true pioneer as he was the first to bring organic pears from the southern hemisphere into the US." He travels to Argentina every year to spend time with the growers and their families as they've known each other for so long. "They've spent a lifetime together building trust and expanding on the pear and apple programs. As a result, their conversations are less focused on negotiating specific terms of an agreement, but much more on celebrating like a family. It's truly a unique deal."

For more information:
Chris Ford
Viva Tierra Organic
Tel: 831-917-7321