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Pacificpro Inc. anticipates a recent hail storm to affect its 2012-13 pear volume from the Pacific Northwest. “We did expect a crop size in line with last year,” said Vice President Randy Hartmann. “However, one unknown at this point is that we did have some hail in various growing regions last week and do anticipate some shrink in the projected crop size due to this damage. But the extent is unknown at this point. Some minor damage could cure out as fruit continues to grow.”

PacificproPresident Craig Hartmann, Vice President Randy Hartmann and Vice President of Operations Marcus Hartmann. (Photo courtesy of Studio B Portraits)The family-owned-and-operated business is located in Bellevue, WA. In addition to Mr. Hartmann, President Craig Hartmann and Vice President of Operations Marcus Hartmann man the helm. “We specialize in the procurement and shipment of all the produce commodities grown in the Pacific Northwest to retailers, wholesalers and foodservice suppliers nationwide,” Mr. Hartmann stated.

“Washington pears have been a key commodity since our company’s inception, and Craig has been procuring and shipping Northwest pears since he started in the business in Washington state in 1975,” he said. “We work closely with and market a good percentage of the preeminent Northwest pear shipper-growers.”

Aside from the hail storm, growing conditions have generally been ideal. “We anticipate good U.S. No. 1 availability and peaking around 80-90 count assuming weather conditions remain consistent from now until harvest,” he said.

Pacificpro works with a network of grower-packer-shippers in the Hood River, Yakima, Wenatchee and Chelan growing regions. Varieties marketed are Bartlett, Red Bartlett, D’Anjou, Red D’Anjou, Bosc, Starkrimson, Comice, Seckel, Forelle, Red Sensation and Asian pears. “Harvest is anticipated to begin on the earliest varieties — Bartlett and Red Bartlett — around Aug. 15, give or take a few days,” Mr. Hartmann said. “D’Anjous and Bosc are projected to start around the second week of September assuming no significant changes in growing conditions.”

Organic pears account for approximately 2 percent of the company’s annual volume.

“We don’t have a specific label we market under,” Mr. Hartmann went on to say. “We market and ship many of the great, well-respected Northwest pear labels.” Primary packs for pears are full carton wrapped, half carton, euro pack and various bag options.

This season, approximately 10 percent of pear volume will be sold to export markets.