Europe’s 2018 Conference pear crop is 9% above the three-year average (2015-2017), thanks to growth in all of the three main producing countries: the Netherlands (+13%), Belgium (+7%) and France (+7%). The French crop has smaller calibres than previous years due to the hot weather, which precipitated collection. Domestic production is under threat from the large Belgian and Dutch crops, putting pressure on prices, despite locals preferring French products.
The Comice variety took over from Conference in February. Then, in March, the conservation chambers were opened and the fruit ripened rapidly, leading to less stable quality. The campaign drew to a close at the start of April.