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The Pear Bureau Northwest was awarded $75,000 in specialty crop grant funding by the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) to promote USA Pears in conjunction with the children’s entertainment brand, LazyTown. The project will be tailored to retail partners and schools with live events and co-branded materials.
“We are pleased to receive grant funding for this exciting partnership,” said Kevin Moffitt, president and CEO of Milwaukie, Ore.-based Pear Bureau Northwest. “This award will help raise the awareness of pears and increase pear sales by generating excitement with children and their parents as we bring the established popularity of LazyTown to life with schools and our retail partners.”
The grant award will enable Pear Bureau Northwest to engage in a promotion with the LazyTown brand, which motivates children to make healthy lifestyle choices, such as keeping active and eating fruits and vegetables to gain energy. The Pear Bureau has developed custom point of sale materials, including floor signs, channel cards with tear-off recipe pads, and life-size standees for retail promotions. The partnership will come to life with appearances by LazyTown’s main character, Sportacus, at select schools and retailers that excel in promoting pears.
WSDA received grant funding of $3.3 million from the United States Department of Agriculture this year for projects that support the state’s fruit, vegetable, and horticulture growers. The 2012 Specialty Crop Block Grant will fund 25 projects managed by the department and other Washington organizations to benefit the third largest specialty crop industry in the nation.
Pear Bureau Northwest is a non-profit marketing organization established to promote fresh USA Pears grown in Washington and Oregon, home to 84 percent of the U.S. fresh pear crop. The Bureau represents 1,600 growers and develops national and international markets for Northwest pear distribution. It has completed successful grant projects in partnership with LazyTown in Mexico and Colombia where retail sales of USA Pears increased by 44 percent during the promotion period.