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Organic pear shipments show growth

Overview of the Washington organic pear supply, complemented by charts from Agronometrics.

Original published in on August 25, 2021 

Washington organic pear shipments have shown steady growth over the past few years, and Northwest pear marketers see room to grow.

Volumes (in Kg) of organic pears from Washington in the US Market
Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Calendar year 2020 truck shipments of Washington state organic pears totaled 65.9 million pounds, up 5% from 63 million pounds in 2019 and up 22% from 54.1 million pounds in 2018.

At 3,263 certified organic acres in 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said that organic pear acreage in Washington state accounted for about 16% Washington’s total pear acreage of 20,965 acres.

Sage Fruit Co., Yakima, Wash., will see a significant increase in the company’s organic pear volume, said Chuck Sinks, president of sales and marketing.

“Overall, organic pears make up 15-18% of our total pear volume,” Sinks said.

Volumes (in Kg) of organic and conventional pears from Washington in the US Marketmarkets
Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Columbia Gorge Organic Fruit, Hood River, Ore., markets 100% certified organic pears, said owner Cheryl Stewart.

Related: Marketers see consumer connection, better way with organic produce

Superfresh Growers is the largest organic pear grower in the Northwest, said Cat Gipe-Stewart, communication manager for Superfresh Growers, Yakima, Wash. “Thirty-five percent of our crop is certified organic,” Gipe-Stewart said. “All varieties that we grow, we also grow organically. Two specific areas of growth for us are organic bosc and organic red pears (red anjou and starkrimson).”

Brianna Shales, marketing director for Stemilt Growers, Wenatchee, Wash., said Stemilt’s Artisan Organics pears are expected to show similar volumes as last year.

“Currently, more than 15% of our pears are grown and certified organic,” Shales said.

Related: Retail organic growth a step slower in second quarter, but still easily beats conventional

Organic pears account for 30% of total pear volume for Brewster, Wash.-based Honeybear Marketing, said Steve Flashing, marketing executive.

Starr Ranch Growers will see similar organic pear volume compared with last year, said Dan Davis, director of business development for the Wenatchee-based firm. About 8% to 10% of Starr Ranch Growers’ pear volume is organic, and Davis said organic pear production continues to expand.

David Armenta, director of export sales for Selah, Wash.-based Rainier Fruit Co., said the company has a leadership position with organic tree fruit.

Organic pear volume could account for 22% to 25% of Rainier’s total pear volume, he said.

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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