New Made-In-Canada Pear

By / Magazine / June 1st, 2011 / 1

Vineland Growers Cooperative and Vineland Research and Innovation Centre have come together to produce a new variety of pear called the “Harovin Sundown Pear” in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes. The pear, developed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, will be an interesting addition to both the orchard and the retail shelf. It’s a variety with light green skin, firm flesh and a unique sweetness. Growers will be particularly attracted to the pear’s fire blight tolerance, winter hardiness, post harvest storage life, and yield characteristics.

When perusing the fruit laid out in grocery store displays, it’s easy to forget that innovation continues in the produce industry. Most of the varieties of fruit we buy are relatively recent arrivals. Although many heirloom varieties are no longer sold, new varieties are created to comply with the characteristics that consumers want. So, growers work on developing sweeter apples, fluffier potatoes, or bigger oranges.

“We are delighted to strike this agreement with the Cooperative. To stay competitive, the Canadian industry needs to forge new types of marketing alliances that will secure premium markets and increase grower margins,” says Jim Brandle, CEO Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. “The agreement between Vineland and the Cooperative will allow this to happen. The Cooperative is already a trusted marketer with well established retail agreements in eastern Canada and coordination for over 70% of the pear production in Ontario.”

In 2010, the Government of Ontario challenged growers to make changes to the industry to improve not only profitability, but also to provide consumers with premium quality fruit. The year before, Vineland’s Dr. Isabelle Lesschaeve demonstrated that the Sundown Pear was a hit in consumer trials.

Mike Ecker, of Vineland Growers Cooperative, commented, “I love this pear. Finally growers will have access to a new variety with excellent agronomic and consumer traits that was not only developed in Canada but shows every potential to compete successfully against imports. Our major retail partners are looking for new varieties of great tasting, locally-grown fruit, and we can deliver.”

Want to try one? This summer we’ll start to see small volumes of the Sundown Pear in stores.

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