Article by: Hari Yellina
The owners of an Australian red pear variety are increasing production year after year as demand and popularity grow – but there’s a lot more to the tale behind the fruit than its beautiful colour and delicious taste. The Red Sienna Pride Pear was initially planted in 2010, and the first commercial crop was harvested in 2019. Christian Georgopoulos, Chief Business Development Officer (CBDO) of GV Independent Packers, reveals that the company is now planting trees every year. He explained, “We are the exclusive grower since we control the IP variety.” “Due to the immaturity of the trees, volumes were low this season.” Every year, we plant new trees to keep up with demand and provide a longer supply in the future.
The late James Georgopoulos, who was the General Manager of Orcharding, invented the Red Sienna Pride Pear. Chris Georgopoulos’ eldest son, Christian, Travis, and Alexander Georgopoulos, are his brothers. The Red Sienna Pride Pear was formally established in 2015, but it had been in the works for around ten years, with a lot of trial and error within the nursery. “James was very involved in attending conventions and conferences, meeting people in the orcharding profession, and developing his ideas,” Christian added. “James welcomed his daughter into the world in 2014.” However, the family was taken aback in 2015 when James was diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of 24.
James died in March 2016, just a few months after his 25th birthday, leaving GVIP and James’ young family devastated. The Red Sienna Pride was named after James’ daughter, Sienna, in his honour. Sienna, who is approaching five years old, is a bright and enthusiastic little girl who enjoys showing off ‘her’ pear. With the Red Sienna Pride signifying more than simply a piece of fruit, James has left the firm with a living legacy, since it is sold with a meaningful tale about the importance of Bowel Cancer awareness, in which GVIP as a company continues to support Bowel Cancer Australia on a regular basis.”
In the United States, Red Sienna Pride is only available at Coles supermarkets, however GV Independent Packers states that due to a limited quantity, you’ll only be able to find it in a few locations. Small amounts have been shipped to South East Asia, with positive feedback and eating experiences, leading in strong demand for Red Sienna Pride Pears. According to Mr. Georgopoulos, the pear’s capacity to stand out on the shelf is related to the pear’s first eye-catching moment. Mr Georgopoulos remarked, “It has a very distinctive shape.” “We usually see pears with a beautiful shape and thin stem, but the red sienna has a bigger stem that gives it a bolder appearance from the top down.” The skin has a lot of vibrancy and reflects light beautifully on the shelves. When compared to a regular green pear, it is much sweeter and has a juicy texture that you will notice on your first bite. It’s tasty, and we believe it has a distinct flavour among all pear kinds available to consumers. Because the tree plantings are still young, volume is currently low; but, with year-round plantings, the volume issue should improve in the coming years as the trees mature.”
Mr Georgopoulos went on to say that the company has had a lot of positive reaction from customers, with numerous chefs requesting them for use in desserts and salads. He explained that “their feedback was based on how eye-catching it was on the shelf and how sweet it tasted for a red pear.” “They emphasised its versatility in making desserts, particularly French-based pastries, and its ability to be used fresh in dishes such as salads. The feedback about how they ripen well in fruit bowls was also encouraging, as many pear growers strive to educate consumers on the best way to eat a pear, which is to ripen it properly – so, in this case, if the pear ripens more easily, it gives the consumer a better eating experience, in our opinion.”