When you think of a sweet, juicy pear, you likely imagine a green or brown pear. Your typical Packham or Beurre Bosc pear. You definitely don’t think of a bold, red velvet coloured pear, but the family-run team at Goulburn Valley Independent Packers (GVIP) have done exactly that, developing the Red Sienna Pride pear.
Established in 2015, the Red Sienna Pride has been several years in the making, and all began with James Georgopoulos. James was a smart, innovative part of the GVIP team, actively going to conventions and conferences, meeting people within the orcharding industry and growing his ideas. With the help of his father and director of GVIP, Chris Georgopoulos, the pair got to work to bring the Red Sienna Pride to life.
In 2014, James welcomed his daughter into the world. But in 2015, the family was shocked as James was diagnosed with bowel cancer at the age of 24. James passed away in March 2016 shortly after his 25th birthday, leaving both GVIP and James’ young family with a huge loss. In honour of James, the Red Sienna Pride was named after his daughter, Sienna. Now almost five years old, Sienna is a bright and bubbly girl that loves showing off ‘her’ pear.
“She took the pear to kindergarten for show and tell, she is very proud of it,” said her uncle and James’ younger brother, Travis.
Travis is the orchard manager for GVIP and has helped his father get Red Sienna Pride up and running.
“It’s been around 10 years in the making, with a lot of trial and error but we’re really happy to have seen it in Coles earlier this year. It makes all the hard work worth it!” Travis said.
The Georgopoulos family has been in the fruit industry for years, with Sienna being the sixth generation Georgopoulos within the industry (it is her pear, after all). Employing some 300 staff during the peak season, GVIP cover 1,500 acres of orchard which include apple, pear and stone fruit trees and export all over Australia and into New Zealand, Asia and Canada.
The Red Sienna Pride is available exclusively at Coles in Victoria and is in season from February to April so keep an eye out next year. The GVIP team hope to have Red Sienna Pride in every Coles store across Australia, with plans to grow 150,000 more trees (currently at 10,000) and export the pear internationally in the near future.