Stemilt is answering consumers’ demands to know where their food comes from with a new label for its pears. The Rushing Rivers label highlights the company’s industry position growing and packing pears in the Wenatchee River Valley and Entiat River Valley in Washington State.
With harvest already underway on its 2014 pear crop, Stemilt will begin packing pears in a new Rushing Rivers carton. The white box features the Rushing Rivers logo and tagline “the best pear locales in the world” along with a short story that tells consumers where the pears inside came from and how they were grown, say company officials.
“Consumers are looking for transparency when it comes to food and fruit, and our pears have a special story to tell,” says Stemilt marketing director Roger Pepperl. “Rushing Rivers pears are born and raised in the premier growing grounds for pears, where the combination of alpine mountains, clean rivers, and fertile soils creates the perfect environment for growing clean, high-quality, and dessert flavored pears.”
The Wenatchee River Valley and Entiat River Valley run parallel of each other, separated only by the peaks of the Cascade Mountain range. Stemilt and its long-time pear partners, Peshastin HI-UP Growers, a growers cooperative, have been farming pears in these river valleys for decades.
“Pears are right at home in these two valleys,” says Pepperl. “The hillsides protect our trees from the heat of the summer, keeping delicate pears cool and comfortable. Clean air draws down from the mountains through the orchards to keep air flowing through each tree, which results in cleaner fruit. And the rivers in these locales are both recharged each spring by fresh mountain snowpack, delivering a plentiful and pure water sources for our pears.”
Stemilt and HI-UP’s presence in these two pear regions extends beyond their orchards. Each company has its own state-of-the-art pear facility located in the region for packing all of Stemilt’s Rushing Rivers pears. HI-UP has two modern packing lines located in Peshastin, Wash., and Stemilt’s Miller Street facility in Wenatchee, Wash., features two updated packing lines and ThermalTech Tarpless ripening rooms for delivering ready-to-eat pears.
To share the Rushing Rivers pears story with consumers, Stemilt created a Rushing Rivers page on its website with a trailer video that tells the story of the famous pear locales and Stemilt’s rich heritage farming pears there. Now that pears are coming off the tree, Stemilt will expand its consumer storytelling to social media and its blog, The Stem.
Stemilt is also encouraging retailers to tell the story of Rushing Rivers when promoting pears this fall. Rushing Rivers cartons can be used to build prominent displays, and Stemilt can support promotions with signage that builds mystique and romance around its premium quality pears.