Pears are one of the world’s oldest cultivated and beloved fruits. Thanks to their versatility and long storage life, pears were a valuable and much-desired commodity among the trading routes of the ancient world. Evident in the works of Renaissance Masters, pears have long been an elegant still-life muse for artists.
The pear trees were brought over to western America to Oregon and Washington, where they flourished in the unique agricultural conditions of the Pacific Northwest.
Today’s Northwest pear varieties are the same or similar to those first cultivated in France and Belgium where they were prized for their delicate flavor, buttery texture, and long storage life.
Today, pear orchards in Oregon and Washington are as specialized as the regions that support them. Organic, commercial and multi-generation family orchards all contribute high-quality fruit to the Northwest’s fresh pear industry. Consumer interest and enjoyment of Northwest pears grows each year. Thanks to advancements in Controlled Atmosphere (CA) storage technology, fresh USA Pears are available to consumers nearly year-round.
USA Pear Crop Statistics
- There are currently more than 1,600 pear growers in Oregon and Washington.
- Pears are Oregon’s number one tree fruit crop, its #9 agricultural commodity, and Oregon’s Official State Fruit.
- Oregon’s total pear production ranks 3rd overall in the United States and 2nd in terms of fresh pear production.
- Washington’s fresh pear production is the largest in the United States.
- In Washington State, pears are the third most valuable tree fruit crop behind apples and sweet cherries, and the tenth most valuable agricultural commodity overall.
- Combined annual fresh pear (not canned) harvest for Washington and Oregon currently averages over 582,000 tons.
- Washington and Oregon export about 35% of their fresh pear crop to more than 50 countries around the world.