The 2010 pear season is starting out well and we have a lot of activities and programs to help ensure it continues that way. Working in a constantly changing marketplace, it is important to stay on top of things in order to create strategies and plans for tomorrow and the longer term. I use the Internet a lot these days, as it is an excellent source of information—if you know where to look. However, one often has to sift through a lot of junk to get to the good stuff. I have listed several of my favorite useful Web sites here. They are worth a look, and perhaps a bookmark on your computer. I hope you find them of interest.

Retail report – This report from the USDA is updated every Friday afternoon and tracks ad activity and price data from 17,000 supermarkets, about half of the supermarkets in the entire country. Pears have been in the top five items on ad in each of the last three weeks.
Shipping point Terminal market and prices – Another useful USDA site. Here you can find f.o.b. prices and shipment data for many produce items.
Worldwide Production data – The USDA maintains this database with current and historical official USDA data on production, supply and distribution of agricultural commodities for the United States and key producing and consuming countries.
Fruit and tree nut report – Reports on this USDA site provide acreage, price per ton, value of production and other data for many crops.
Per capita consumption – Another useful site maintained by the USDA that tracks per capita consumption of produce going back to 1970.
World Apple and Pear Association – A good resource on global apple and pear issues and health benefit studies.
USA pears – the official consumer site of USA Pears has plenty of information on the varieties and versatility of pears grown in the Pacific Northwest.
Note that there is also an industry site that is password protected which contains a lot of research as well as archived newsletters and reports. If you are a member of the pears industry in Washington or Oregon and you don’t have a password and would like one, please feel free to contact me.
All pears all the time, Kevin 503 652-9720