Good Fruit Grower

April 15

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Page 12 of 55 GOOD FRUIT GROWER APRIL 15, 2014 13 That's good news for growers, he says, but it opens the door for imported Chinese pear products. "The negative side of a smaller crop and higher prices is that it gives imports a chance to fill the market gap." Imported pear products from China grew to 1.5 million case equivalents in 2013, up from around 1.1 to 1.2 million cases two years earlier, Grandy reported. The biggest increase of Chinese pear products has been in the foodservice segment. Foodservice Foodservice is the biggest market for canned pears and represents about 70 percent of the market, according to Mark Miller, promotion director for the Pacific Northwest Canned Pear Service. Miller and an associate in Illinois cover the United States foodservice mar- ket, focusing on foodservice distribu- tors and operators in places like schools, healthcare, colleges and universities, and on-site company cafeterias. They provide distributors with usage tips and ideas, conduct distributor sales contests, promote sales, develop new recipes and markets, and educate distributors about the industry. Examples of two new reci- pes using canned pears that came out of a contest are pear kale smoothie and pear quinoa salad. One of the biggest customers of canned pears is the U.S. Department of Agricul- ture. The agency purchases more than 10 percent of the total pack for school lunches. Last year, USDA purchased around 1.2 million cases (6/10 can size). Miller believes that USDA purchases will increase in the coming year in response to the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, legislation passed in 2010 that requires schools to double fruit and veg- etable servings. As part of the new law, breakfast menus are being overhauled and will soon change the use of fruit juices by counting only whole fruit as a serving and not fruit juices. "USDA buys what the schools ask them to buy," Miller said, adding that the agency anticipated a 25 percent increase in pear orders last year but were over- whelmed with actual requests 40 per- cent higher than the previous year. "They were able to only fulfill 12 percent of the increased requests." He is beginning to see the impact of imported pear products. "The foodservice market is not being flooded with imports, but inexpensive imported products are gaining with low-margin operators in places like jails," he said. Schools are not supposed to purchase imported product if there are domestic supplies, he said, but distributors don't always follow the rules. Quality is very inconsistent with imported canned pears, Miller noted. "Some foodservice distributors have said they don't want to promote prod- uct that is in short supply," he said to the growers attending the pear association meeting. "There's been a decrease in bearing acreage of peaches, pears, and apricots and poor domestic crops the last two years, as well as smaller worldwide supplies of canned fruits. Peaches are currently in short supply." In short, he says the industry needs more domestic canned pears or he fears some foodservice operators will remove pears from their menus. • When it comes to protecting your orchard, Delegate ® egate offers proven WG insecticide stands alone. Dele , , th, leafrollers, performance against codling moth — along with other tough pests like Oriental fruit mot spotted wing drosophila, plum curculio and apple maggot. What sets it apart? A mode of action so unique, it's the only one in its class. That makes Delegate key to any spray rotation program for pome and stone fruit, cranberries, blueberries or grapes. 800-258-3033 UNIQUE CHEMISTRY FOR STANDOUT PERFORMANCE. ® Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company ("Dow") or an affiliated company of Dow Always read and follow label directions. ©2013 Dow AgroSciences LLC L38-359-010 (01/13) BR 010-34175 DAAGDELE2059 "Some foodservice distributors have said they don't want to promote product that is in short supply." —Mark Miller

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