Portuguese top-fruit supplier Luis Vicente is hoping to increase its Rocha pear production long term as it looks to eat into the Conference market.

The company is still around two months away from the end of the season, with production up 20 per cent on last year, although prices remain “difficult”.

The company hopes to build significantly on its 90 hectares of production and 500ha of production through growers associated with it.

Luis Vicente’s Paulo Correia said: “We are increasing production in Portugal to increase the presence of Rocha pears in Europe and the US. At the moment we are looking to see the costs and by how much we increase production and take market share from the Conference pear, which is popular in the UK.”