Local Pear Farmers Become First California Commodity Board to Sponsor “America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital” Effort

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July 11, 2013

Chris Zanobini, California Pear Advisory Board, (916) 441-0432 or
Sidney Scheideman, Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau, (916) 808-5978

Local Pear Farmers Become First California Commodity Board to Sponsor “America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital” Effort

Sacramento, CA – California pear farmers have become the first California commodity board to sponsor Sacramento’s popular Farm-to-Fork program. The program, which was started last year, is meant to highlight the fact that Sacramento is located in the heart of the nation’s most diverse agriculture area.  Existing sponsors include local businesses, grocery stores, restaurants and non-profit groups who support Farm-to-Fork’s mission to bring awareness to the Sacramento region’s local food production, consumption and sustainability.

“California pear farmers are the perfect partners for this program because pears are strongly connected to the Sacramento area,” said Chris Zanobini, President of the California Pear Advisory Board. “Not only have pears been produced in the Sacramento area since the Gold Rush days, but virtually all commercially-grown pears are produced within 100 miles of Sacramento. Today, the California pear industry is made up of family farmers who have been in producing pears for generations and are committed to sustainable farming methods.”

The California Pear Advisory Board will be the participating sponsor of Farm-to-Fork and is a commodity board which represents all California pear farmers. The Board operates with oversight from the California Department of Food and Agriculture to fund promotional and research activities on behalf of California pear farmers.  One of the most important functions of the California Pear Advisory Board has been to commission production research projects that have led to widespread adoption of Integrated Pest Management practices designed to reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides.

“Strengthening the Sacramento region’s identity as America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital gets accelerated through partnerships with California pear farmers and other California commodities.  They bring passion, resources and credibility to this initiative and we could not be more thrilled to partner with them,” said Mike Testa, Sr. Vice President with the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau.

While Farm-to-Fork program have traditionally been supported by small, local, organic farms, California pear farmers ship their products around the nation and the world.  However, they are still local, family farming businesses that support the local economy and the communities where they live and work.  The average age of a pear orchard is between 33 and 100 years old with some plantings dating as far back as the 1840s.  Many of today’s pear farmers grow fruit on orchards handed down to them by their grandfathers or great-grandfathers and most hope to pass then on to their own children.

“This trend in multi-generational farming necessitates production practices that are sustainable and ensure the health of the soil, trees and natural resources for future generations,” said Zanobini.  “In this way, commercial pear farmers are very much like the smaller, local boutique farms that have been with Farm-to-Fork since its beginnings.  We are looking forward very much to participating in this important program and sharing information with local consumers, restaurants and other farmers.”

As part of its sponsorship, the California Pear Advisory Board is planning to hold a recipe contest for Farm-to-Fork participating restaurants to encourage use of local pears in beverage and appetizer menu items.  Sacramento diners can look forward to seeing recipe features beginning in mid-August.

Harvest of pears began last week in the River growing areas near Courtland and Clarksburg.  Later in the month, pears will also be harvesting in nearby Lake and Mendocino counties.  Fruit will be available in the marketplace until November.  A special web-page is being developed to house information about Farm-to-Fork activities involving pears including where consumers can enjoy pears at local restaurants.  In the meantime, a wide range of information on pears is available at www.calpear.com  including recipes, pear varieties and nutrition. Information about the California pear farmers and sustainability is also available on this site.


About “America’s Farm-to-fork Capital”: The mission of the farm-to-fork movement is to bring awareness to the Sacramento region’s local food production, consumption and sustainability as well as the contribution and exportation of sustainable products to the rest of the nation and world.

The Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau is proud to lead the regional “America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital” efforts. The farm-to-fork campaign is a year-round endeavor and collaborative process with the area’s chefs, farmers and growers, as well as regional elected officials, and the people and organizations who are dedicated to the area’s agricultural heritage and culinary treasures.