During the past years the common growing system of 'Conference' pear in The Netherlands has intensified from 2,500 to 3,000 trees ha-1. At present, the common planting distance for the standard planting system is 3.25×1 m. Production costs are relatively high in The Netherlands. The main reason for this is the high labour cost, which concerns one third of the total production cost. In order to get a profitable growing system for pear, high yields are needed especially during the first five growing years. To achieve these higher early yields a number of cultural practices were improved. For instance drip irrigation with fertigation was optimised. The quality of the nursery trees and the higher density of trees are also important factors to achieve high early yields. These measures resulted in higher investment costs, but due to higher yields in the first five growing years also to lower establishment costs due to a shorter establishment period. Due to the higher yields the total unit cost per kg 'Conference' pears in The Netherlands was reduced with 2 €cent per kg.