(April 30) The California bartlett will soon have promotional company from other pear varieties.

California’s pear growers recently approved an amendment to the state’s pear marketing program to incorporate all California varieties except the Asian pear. Before, the bartlett was the only variety assessed, according to a news release.

This vote allows the marketing order to support 40 million pounds of additional California pears — including bosc, seckel, comice and forelle — in addition to the 400 million pounds the bartlett yields annually, according to the release.

“We are very pleased and excited to now be representing all pears produced in California and are looking forward to covering a wider range of the pear category offered at retail stores around the country and in export channels,” Chris Zanobini, executive director of the California Pear Advisory Board, said in a news release.

More than 88% of the growers — representing 80% of California’s pear volume — voted to support the modification, according to news release.

To remain competitive in the pear industry, it is essential to offer numerous varieties and gain as much shelf space as possible at retail level, David Weiss, advisory board chairman, said in the news release.

“California pears face direct competition from other states such as Washington and Oregon and countries like Argentina, Chile and South Africa,” Weiss, of Bella Vista Farming Co. LLC, Lake County, Calif., said. “It didn’t make sense for our growers to be handicapped by the fact that we could only promote one variety of pears.”