Conference pear

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Conference pear
Pyrus communis 'Conference'.jpg
Conference pear
SpeciesPyrus communis
BreederThomas Rivers
Conference pear

A Conference pear is a variety of pear.

It is an autumn cultivar (cultivated variety) of the European pear (Pyrus communis). This variety of pear was developed in Britain by Thomas Francis Rivers from his Rivers Nursery in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire. It owes its name to the fact that it won first prize at the National British Pear Conference in London in 1885.[1][2]


Conference pear from Savoie

A medium-sized pear with an elongated bottle shape, the 'Conference' pear is similar in appearance to the 'Bosc pear'. A table pear, it is suitable for fresh-cut processing.[3] The fruit skin is thick greenish-brown, becoming pale yellow when ripe. The flesh is white, but turns pale yellow when the pear is ripe. The texture is very fine and soft, and the flavour is sweet.[4] The brown part of the skin is called russet or russetting; it is more or less apparent depending on weather conditions.

Cultivation and production[edit]

The 'Conference' pear adapts to a variety of conditions, and is widely grown in Europe. It thrives on land that is sunny, rich and not too chalky. In France, the production areas of this variety are mostly in the north (Loire, North Picardy) and the Alps (Savoie and the little Southern Alps). It is grown commercially in many areas of the United Kingdom.[1]

Production will be enhanced by the nearby presence of pollinating varieties such as the Williams pear. It is a particularly resistant fruit, especially against scab. The Conference pear can be eaten until January if kept cool in a refrigerator or cellar ventilated.

There is strong sales competition in Europe from neighbouring countries (in order: Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Italy). The flavour of 'Conference' pears grown in Savoie, was recognized in 1996 by a PGI (a Protected Geographical Indication) in the European Union, and 2012 it was the only PGI obtained by a pear in France.


Some mutants of the Conference pear are grown commercially as club varieties. These include:

  • Corina, a mutant of Conference with an earlier which is suited for earlier picking, although with smaller fruit size.[5]
  • Red Conference, a red color mutation with growing popularity. [6]
Red Conference pears
Red Conference pears at a Dutch greengrocer


  1. ^ a b Pamela Shields (1 July 2013). Hertfordshire A to Z. History Press Limited. pp. 141–. ISBN 978-0-7509-5320-7.
  2. ^ Barron, A. F. "Report of the Committee of the National Pear Conference, held in the Society's Gardens, Chiswick, October 1885". Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society. IX: 1–18 – via Biodiversity Heritage Library.
  3. ^ Nirmal Sinha; Jiwan Sidhu; Jozsef Barta; James Wu; M. Pilar Cano (20 June 2012). Handbook of Fruits and Fruit Processing. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 1000–. ISBN 978-1-118-35263-2.
  4. ^ Healing Foods. DK Publishing. 1 May 2013. pp. 23–. ISBN 978-1-4654-1631-5.
  5. ^ ""Corina pears the only Conference product coming fresh off Belgian trees now"". Retrieved 2023-02-21.
  6. ^ ""Next season we will market 150,000 Red Conference® trees"". Retrieved 2023-02-21.
  • [1] Royal Horticultural Society - Pear Conference
  • (in French) Agreste - Ministère de l'agriculture Information sur la production en France
  • (in French) INAO - PGI/IGP SAVOIE.