by Stemilt Growers
WENATCHEE, Wash. – The Northwest pear crop is looking promising this year, with about 20 million boxes expected to be packed and shipped. Stemilt, an industry leader in both conventional and organic varieties expects to shipper around 12 percent of the crop.
“Harvest is trending a week ahead of last year, with increased crop volumes over last season,” said Brianna Shales, communications manager at Stemilt.
Shipments of Tosca and Bartlett pears get underway the week of August 20, followed by Starkrimson the following week. The majority of Stemilt’s Tosca pears are certified organic and available under the Artisan Organics™ brand. Tosca is an early variety with a short season and will be sized well for Stemilt’s kid-size pear program, Lil Snappers®.
Northwest pear volume will hit good stride in late August.
“It’s been an ideal growing season for pears, with a long spring and great summer weather for growing sizeable pears,” states Shales. “Stemilt has been a leader in the pear category for years, and looks forward to another season of top quality, flavorful pears.”
“Jet cooling is essential to the quality of pears harvested in August, and our cooling process is designed to back the high flavor, ready-to-eat pear process,” says Shales. “Our teams use a Stemilt-specific sequence that is designed for the best airflow and cooling patterns, giving our pears the exact things they need to ensure a ready-to-eat experience right out of the box.”
Stemilt has also built two Thermal Tech Tarpless® ripening rooms in the Fresh Cube to ripen Anjou and Red d’Anjou pears.
“Trust goes a long way in the pear category,” states Shales. “We have seen a decrease in the pear category over the last decade and Stemilt is working hard to reverse that trend through programs like Operation Flavor and our Rushing Rivers® pear brand.”
Stemilt partners with Peshastin Hi-Up Growers to produce Rushing Rivers® pears, which grow in the two best pear locales in the world – the Wenatchee River Valley and the Entiat River Valley – by multi-generational pear farmers who come with a world of knowledge and expertise. These growing districts are located right next to packing, ripening and shipping facilities, which supports Stemilt’s mission of flavor-first focus.
Stemilt Growers is a leading tree fruit growing, packing and shipping company based in Wenatchee, WA. Owned and operated by the Mathison family, Stemilt is the leading shipper of sweet cherries and one of the nation’s largest suppliers of organic tree fruits.