The pear harvest is at an all-time low

POAPears: The pear trees in Italy are heavily affected by environmental influences. (Source: Arnulf Stoffel/imago)

The selection of pear varieties in German supermarkets is diverse. Most of them currently come from Italy. But that could change soon.

The pear harvest will reach an all-time low this year. Significant losses in the harvest were already recorded two years ago. But this year the forecast is even worse.

The harvest is poor

In August, the World Apple and Pear Association (Wapa) forecast a sobering harvest of 1.75 million tonnes of pears. Now the important countries of origin Italy and Spain are reporting a further decline in harvest. The amount of pears this year fell again by six percent to just 1.72 million tons, as the “Lebensmittel Zeitung” reports.

The reason for the low crop yield is climate change . The pear trees are extremely affected by droughts, floods, excessive heat or hail caused by the climate crisis. As a result, there is also an increased pest infestation.

Italy is hit particularly hard

The Emilia-Romagna region – in northern Italy between Verona and Florence – is particularly badly affected. The region has been experiencing a sustained decline in harvests for several years. The popular varieties Abate Fetel or Santa Maria fell in quantity by 78 percent.

Emilia-Romagna is actually responsible for around 70 percent of the entire Italian pear harvest. But according to “Lebensmittel Zeitung” there is also talk of a decline in table pears of between 60 and 70 percent this year. Many trees would have to be cleared. In 2023, the region will only be able to supply around 105,000 tons of pears, a tenth of the usual amount of pears 20 years ago.

The Italian pear is being displaced

According to the annual market report from the Federal Office of Agriculture and Food (BLE), Italian pears still dominated the market in 2021, but customers increasingly turned to pears from other European countries such as the Netherlands due to the high price.At the beginning of 2023, the availability of pears on the market was apparently limited. Although Italian pears continued to dominate European supply, they increasingly competed with pears from South Africa , according to the report .


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