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Re: [nafex] Big 4 Commercial Pears


Just look at apples in Ontario.   The Ontario Apple Marketing Commission only promotes 13 varieties of apples; (their descriptions, not mine)


Red Delicious - Redder than Ronald's hair...
Cortland - That's a nice lookin' apple
Crispin (Mutsu) - A taste of the Orient...
Empire - The upper class apple...
Golden Delicious - This ain't your Granny's apple.
Idared - Can't find yours? Check the oven...
McIntosh - Ontario's Pride and Joy!
Spartan - The one that nabbed Snow White!
Northern Spy - James Bond's favorite!
Jonagold - Better than Jonabronze
Golden Russet - Proof that beauty is only skin deep!
Fuji - A mountain of flavour
Gala - The superstar of fruit

This is true of both their web site and printed material that I have picked up at local agricultural fairs.  I am not bashing them, but pointing out the limit of their scope.

I don't know if OAMC are promoting other varieties, but I have not seen anything in that regard.  I am unaware of what goes on with their membership behind the scenes.  I can say, that the list above represents all the apples I ever see in our local supermarkets.

It would appear to me that as long as only "mainstream", "Mc Donald's-like" fruit is promoted to the public, that is all you will ever see.

It does strike me that the "Got Milk?" campaign that was so popular, never asked "Got whole milk?", "Got skim milk?", "Got buttermilk?", Got 2% milk?", etc., etc., etc..  They promoted milk in general, not just certain milk products.


Sam Brungardt wrote:

Growers sell what consumers buy and what they know they can produce
profitably.  The Big 4 are cultivars for which production methods
(fertilization, disease and other pest control, storage methods) have
been worked out.  Magness may be a terrific-tasting pear, but it has
some drawbacks, such as its polliination requirements.

Supermarkets sell what consumers are familiar with, what they can
get, and what they know will be popular.  The Big 4 are cultivars
that have established reputations, industry promotion, and marketing
channels.  In some ways, they may also be the best examples of their
types.   Some other pear cultivars are sometimes sold in supermarkets
-- Forelle or Trout pears and Seckel, for example, and of course the
Asian "apple" pears -- but the taste and texture differences in most
pears may simply be not as varied as is the case with apples.  The
availability of pears from the Southern Hemisphere when pears
normally would be unavailable to consumers likely perpetuates the
dominance of the Big 4, although some imported pears being sold under
Big 4 names may actually be other cultivars.

However, the recemt consumer awareness of new and different apple
cultivars may hint at more diversity in pears sold in supermarkets in
the future.  Also promising are the offerings of new and imported
cultivars by some nurseries, both wholesale and retail.

Much of the research in the U.S. and Canada has gone toward the
development of fireblight-resistant and cold-hardy pears that can be
grown outside the commercial growing areas.  While some
blight-resistant and cold-hardy cultivars are good, it's petty remote
that any will unseat the established Big 4.--Sam Brungardt, St. Paul,

>Doreen Howard wrote:
>>  After researching heirloom pears for several weeks and interviewing 4
>>  growers of the same, I have a burning question that you experts may be able
>>  to answer.  Why are the big 4 commercial pear varieties--Bartlett, Bosc,
>>  Anjou and Comice-- a couple of centuries old?  One would think that hybrids
>>  with their improved disease resistance, etc. would have replaced these
>>  heirloom varieties.  Is it taste?  Is it lack of imagination?  Or what?
>  > Please venture forth with your opinions.
>  > Doreen Howard
>>  In Wisconsin, where it's snowing and snowing.

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