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The fruit importer Oppenheimer Group of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, expects to bring more pears into the United States from Argentina this season because the U.S. Department of Agriculture no longer requires a quarantine treatment.

In the past, the USDA required that pears from Argentina undergo a cold treatment before entering the United States, Steve Gisler, Oppenheimer’s East Coast pipfruit category coordinator, explained in a press release. Now, no treatment is needed because the department has concluded, after monitoring, that there is no Mediterranean fruit fly in the growing region.

Oppenheimer planned to bring fruit directly to the West Coast ports of Los Angeles and Seattle this season, for the first time in several years, as well as into East Coast ports. The first shipment to Los Angeles was expected in early March. Arrivals in Seattle were expected later in the month.

Oppenheimer will focus on Bartlett (Williams), d’Anjou, and Packham varieties. The Williams crop could be down 25 percent from last year, resulting in higher f.o.b. pricing.

As of this year, Oppenheimer is the exclusive marketer of Southern Hemisphere pears packed with the ripeSense sensor. The pears are packed in clamshells of four with the sensor on the front of the pack. A spot on the sensor changes color, from red through orange to yellow to indicate the ripeness of the fruit. Domestic pears have been sold with the ripeSense sensor since October.