This week’s Interpera gathered European pear professionals to look at positive solutions to a host of challenges facing the sector

The thirteenth edition of international pear congress Interpera was held in Rotterdam this week, providing an opportunity for the European pear sector to gather, share experiences and consider solutions to a series of issues.

With consumption falling, the climate changing and exports affected by politics and war, Interpera stated, costs were rocketing across the sector.

“Since 2008, Interpera has been updating European pear producers and the industry on the market and trends in good times and in not-so-good times,” it reported. “This year, the challenges are clearly numerous.”

The congress included technical visits to growers and the Randwijk research centre, followed by a conference on the market situation, as well as forecasts of the summer harvest courtesy of production experts from Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

In the face of the tough market situation, presentations looked at how Italy was reorganising its production, the use of data and precision farming and solutions for fighting the stink bug, as well as changes in consumer trends.

“The concluding advice to the audience was not only to reconnect with consumers, to be conscious of their behaviour, but also to “think outside the box” by innovating in creative, unseen consumption ways for pears,” Interpera stated.

This year, Areflh and the Dutch Produce Association (DPA) co-organised the event, which welcomed participants from 14 countries.

Richard Schouten, director of DPA, commented: “Such a mix of people proves that there is a future in pear-growing. We are reaching an always-increasing number of stakeholders.”