English pears are set for a promotional push from this month as producers look to refresh the traditional fruit in the public’s mind.

This year retailers are expected to focus their promotional activity on the English origin of their pears, rather than price. The fruit will also benefit from the European-wide Fruitness Enjoy it! campaign, in which green leotard-wearing superhero Mr Fruitness advises children across the Continent to eat pears during autumn and winter.

The main home-grown varieties produced in commercial quantities are Conference, Comice and Concorde. English Conference makes up about 23,000 tonnes of the annual English pear harvest, Comice adds a further 2,500 to 3,000 tonnes, and Concorde about 2,000.

In terms of this year’s harvest, production volume is down across Europe by 15% compared with last year as a result of frost damage to blossoms. However, lower volumes are compensated for by an increase in individual fruit size and a particularly good skin finish. Every year the British pear market requires considerable imports from countries such as the Netherlands and Belgium to supplement English supply.