Rocha pear growers are targeting UK supermarkets in an effort to increase consumer awareness of the variety, which began to appear on the shelves some 15 years ago.

Funding will come though the Portuguese trade office (ICEP) and is also backed by the country's producers'

association (ANP).

Rocha is a traditional

Portuguese variety that now regularly appears in shops throughout the winter. The UK has already become the industry's best customer.

This year Portugal's pear production - which is dominated by Rocha - is

expected to reach some 143,000 tonnes, a 9% increase on last season.