Pear Bureau Northwest was awarded $ 40,000 from the Oregon Department of Agriculture and $ 20,000 from the Washington State Department of Agriculture through the 2014 Specialty Crop Block Grant. The grant will enable the Pear Bureau Northwest to focus on “Putting Pears on the Menu: Increasing the use of Pears on National Chain Restaurants.”
The Pear Bureau will educate foodservice decision makers on pear varieties, seasonality, storage and ripening through outreach activities targeting large restaurant chains. The increased demand of fresh pears in foodservice will help Northwest growers and shippers keep pace with a growing supply of high-quality fruit.
“This grant will help increase pear usage and awareness among consumers throughout the US.,” Kevin Moffitt, Pear Bureau Northwest president and chief executive officer, said in a press release. “Studies show that nearly 40 percent of consumers who try a food in a restaurant will look to make it at home*, so expanding restaurant use of pears will expand retail purchases and home use as well.”
Under the 2014 farm bill, the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Washington State Department of Agriculture receive annual funding from the USDA to award grants for projects that enhance the competitiveness of states’ specialty crops.
Specialty crops are defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops. Eligible plants must be intensively cultivated and used by people for food, medicinal purposes, and/or aesthetic gratification to be considered specialty crops.
*Foodservice and Influencers, national telephone survey of 1,000 primary shoppers conducted by Produce Marketing Association, May 2006.