Farmers' dilemma

The usual method of distribution takes seven steps:

1. Hire and pay pickers who strip the trees, filling 1000-pound bins. This step is called “field picking”. FYI- Field picking does not guarantee uniform size and the pears may display some minor cosmetic blemishes, which do not affect the quality of the product.

2. Deliver the harvest to a commercial refrigerated storage facility within 24 hours of picking.

3. Continue to pay for the refrigerated storage space until the pears are requested by packing houses.

4. Some packing houses are even so generous as to pay half of the transportation costs from Medford cold storage to the packing house location--perhaps several hundred miles away.

5. The packing houses hire people for sorting the pears out of the 1000 pound bins, by size and cosmetic appearance, into boxes that eventually are sold to retailers. Side-bar - Those not meeting the normal retail standard, end up as “rejects” back into 1000 pound bins. Those “rejects” are sorted again for sale to: a) discount grocers; b) commercial canners; c) baby food canners; and finally d) juicers. The pennies per pound the farmer receives for the steps -a thru d-  does not come close to covering production costs.

6. The boxed pears may be stored in coolers at the packing house for several weeks before they are ordered by, and shipped to, wholesalers.

7. The wholesalers sell and deliver the boxed pears in refrigerated trucks to the retail outlets. There, people just like you purchase the product for several times what the farmer ultimately receives.

By picking directly into boxes for The Pear Guy, our clients receive their orders within just a couple days of picking in refrigerated trucks.  The Pear Guy, partnered with our select farmers, can eliminate five steps in the distribution “gauntlet”. The benefits include the farmer getting justly rewarded and the consumer paying less for better quality.