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Episode 44 - Pear Shaped Perfection

There’s a new kid on the chopping block that’s tipped to redefine how Australians perceive pears. It’s a big call but the Rico Pear boasts a striking blush colour and a surprising crunch. Marketing experts have described it as ‘unlike anything you’ve tasted before’. So, if you thought maybe pears had fallen out of favour, there’s a team of people working hard to change your mind. Our guest today is a Research Leader at Agriculture Victoria’s Tatura SmartFarm, Ian Goodwin. We discuss:

  • Ian’s favourite place at the Tatura SmartFarm where he works at an experimental sundial orchard.

  • He explains what a SmartFarm does.

  • The new Rico pear is unlike any other and Ian shares how it was developed.

  • How the Rico pear differs from the pears we are used to seeing on supermarket shelves.

  • It is a versatile fruit ranging from a hard crunch to melting flesh texture, depending on the storage of the fruit.

  • The taste of this unique pear as well as the sort of growing conditions needed to maximise that distinctive Rico blush colour.

  • How Ian has gone about spreading the word about this pear to see it widely stocked at shops.

  • Pears have had a bit of a bad rap at times and Ian shares how he hopes the Rico will revamp the humble pear’s image.

  • The origins of the name ‘Rico’ pear and what this process looks like.

  • What Ian loves most about working in this field of innovation.

  • The most unexpected thing to happen as he has developed new fruit varieties.

  • Most common misconception about what Ian does as a SmartFarmer.

  • The ultimate dream for the future.

We hope to see you back on the road soon, to learn more about how Australia grows on the next episode of Australian Farmers with Angie Asimus.



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