Leading Italian pear suppliers have joined forces in a bid to promote pear consumption amidst challenging times for the sector. In the face of infestations and adverse weather, which have put product quality and crop size under pressure, the new UNAPera consortium is intended to revive the fortunes of the sector.
UNAPera brings together 25 companies, including 13 producer organisations, and represents 70% of the pears sold in Italy, as well as 55% of exports. Each individual organisation will continue to sell its own fruit, but a common system of quality controls and standards will be followed, with the aim of improving quality, winning back consumers, and restoring profitability.
Roberto Della Casa, who will head up the UNAPera project, says better quality across the board is required.
“Pear consumption fell by 24% between 2016 and 2020, largely due to the inconsistency of fruit quality in the market. Pears are difficult to grow, and in recent years they have been hit by various challenges, but when the quality is not constant, consumers become disaffected.”