Italy shows off pears in first U.S. campaign
The first special showing at the Shoprite headquarters in Delaware came following import approval of the product in September by the United States Department of Agriculture.
Federico Milanese, head of international marketing at Italy's Horticultural Service Center (CSO), highlighted protocol and management techniques to transport this product, previously unknown to U.S. shoppers.
"This is a unique opportunity to compare and exchange between an important producer and an distribution chain (Shoprite), present in six American states," Milanese said in a CSO press statement.
"This opportunity was born thanks to an agreement between Delaware and the Emilia-Romagna region in September. It is an uncomparable opportunity for Italian companies."
The Emilia-Romagna region is the main production area for Italian pears with and estimated two-thirds of production, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
A second event, in collaboration with Fruitecom, demonstrated the fruit in New York City and featured Italian companies Alegra, Apofruit, and Peraitalia.
Italy is the largest pear producer among EU member countries and ranks third wordlwide after China and the U.S., the USDA reported.
Abate Fetel is the nation's main variety, followed by William B.C., Conference and Kaiser.
For the 2013-14 season, the USDA forecast 304,000MT of Abate Fetel pear production out of Italy.
Overall pear production was forecast at 741,000MT, up from 650,000MT the previous season but notably down from the 934,000MT produced in the 2011-12 season.
In the 2012-13 marketing year, the main destinations for Italian pears were Argentina, Spain, Chile and South Africa.
Photo: Renzo Balestri (Apofruit), Augusto Renella (Peraitalia), Federico Milanese (CSO), Chris Kenny (Shoprite), Alberto Sansovini and Davide Drei (Alegra) in Delaware, by CSO