The English pear crop is forecast to rise substantially this season and will be up 46% reaching a total of 26,000 tonnes, mainly of Conference but supported by Comice and Concorde. Fruit quality is reported as very good with few mis-shapes, although the figure is still 8% below the five year average. At the same time Holland, which competes on the English market with Conference, is recording an increase of around one third targeting 257,000 tonnes. In the EU as a whole, the crop is 4% higher, reaching 2,418,000 tonnes. Italy, by far the largest producer, expects an 18% rise driving up its harvest to 922,000 tonnes, but the second largest, Spain with 586,000 tonnes, has a drop of 14%. {{FRESH PRODUCE }}