Yamagata La France

Yamagata La France

Registration Number 99
Name of the GI Yamagata La France
Class Fruit
Date of Protection 2020/08/19
Producing Area Yamagata Prefecture
Applicant – Name and Address

Yamagata Prefecture La France Promotion Association

2-8-1 Matsunami, Yamagata City, Yamagata Prefecture

Producing Area

Yamagata La France is a type of pear produced in Yamagata Prefecture using a La France cultivar.
 Cultivation management is extensively practiced in the area, including pruning, fruit thinning, and timely shipping to account for post-harvest ripening. This has enabled the production of pears that fully demonstrate the unique and consistent La France characteristics of melting texture, juiciness, unique aroma, and good eating quality.
 In the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market, during the November to January shipping period, the share of Yamagata La France exceeds 95 percent in terms of sales volume and value (calculated as average of 2002- 2018).

The La France pear variety is used to produce the Yamagata La France.
 The trees are pruned so that they have few intersecting main branches to allow the fruit to have plenty of sunlight exposure. To promote fruit development, fruits are pruned to leave only one or less fruit per cluster (a cluster of blooms from a flower bud).
 The shipping standard specifies that the pears should weigh more than 180 grams and not be markedly bruised nor rotten. Regardless of the weight, fruit that is not heavily blemished nor rotten can be shipped for food processing purposes.
 Annually, the producers' group designates a base date, which is the first day of the season when consumers can purchase the Yamagata La France after post-harvest ripening. Subsequently, consistent quality Yamagata La France fruit is available for purchase on or after the designated base date.

Compared to other La France production areas in Japan, Yamagata prefecture has relatively little rainfall between June and September, making Yamagata La France fruit less likely to be infected by disease. Furthermore, during the fruit's nutrient storage period from August to September the 9.4 to 10.3 °C prefectural diurnal temperature gap is significant, making Yamagata a particularly suitable area in Japan to grow La France.
 In an attempt to promote the production of La France pears for fresh fruit eating during the 1980s, Yamagata prefecture officials, collaborating with private companies, refined the cultivation method. In 1988, the Yamagata Prefecture Horticultural Experimental Station (currently, the Yamagata Integrated Agricultural Research Center, Horticultural and Agricultural Experiment Station) established a technique to forecast the harvest period, upon which an initial shipping date is determined, as well as a post-harvest ripening technique for the production area.
 In fiscal year 2014, local agricultural cooperatives, markets, and governments established the Yamagata Prefecture La France Promotional Association. The promotional association has been pursuing further quality improvements through various initiatives such as creating a cultivation calendar featuring the latest techniques.
 As of 2016, the La France growing area in Yamagata is 749 ha, accounting for 82 percent of Japan's production area and number one in the country. The number of farmers is around 2,300 as of 2015.
 In recent years, the fruit has been exported to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines, with the fiscal year 2018 export volume around 13 tons.

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