The Altes Land stretches over 30 km along the Elbe River in northern Germany. It has always been known for its tradition of fruit growing. Apples are particularly popular, but pears are catching up. Because this spring, the first trees of the new pear variety ‘Alessia’ were planted on a total of about 5 hectares. According to Jürgen Faby, joint managing director of the trading company of the same name and a partner in the project, the red-skinned pear could develop into a market-relevant variety for domestic food retailers within a few years.
Red-skinned winter pear
‘Williams’, ‘Alexander Lucas’, ‘Conference’ – this triumvirate has dominated the pear market in Germany for decades. But the new release from the breeding program of the Bavarian Fruit Center (BOZ) is expected to develop into at least a full-fledged alternative in the next few years. ‘Alessia®’ is considered a winter pear and is suitable for marketing from fall to spring.
Pome fruit marketer Jürgen Faby believes in the market potential of the red Alessia
Marketing until May
If stored in pear storages, they will last until February, and in CA storage they will last until until May. In CA storage, they can also be stored together with apples, he adds. “Similar to the West and South, we have now planted the first five hectares in the Altes Land. These plants will be continuously expanded over the next few years. “In the fall of 2022, there will already be the first very small quantities from our plants,” Faby explains.
Market potential in regional food retailing
In terms of volume, pears play a rather modest role in the Altes Land compared to apples. Nevertheless, Faby has always tried to promote pear cultivation and, where possible, to include pears from regional cultivation in its product range. “Red-skinned pears in particular are mainly imported because there is simply no domestic alternative. In my view, German retail is receptive to a red pear from regional production,” Faby concludes.