This year, Fyffes is celebrating its 130th year of shipping bananas. The company has arranged a number of celebratory activities this year to commemorate the anniversary. One of these will be at PMA Fresh Summit this week, but the company wishes to wait until the show to reveal all the details of the booth. Visitors though can expect to see a visual display showing highlights of their 130 year history.
"In its anniversary year, Fyffes is celebrating with customers and consumers in the local markets and focus on brand storytelling," said Marion Tabard, VP of Marketing at Fyffes. "We have launched a commemorative sticker campaign and our social media channels have been used to bring to life an engaging brand story for consumers. With an interesting spin on the original logo, the special edition stickers have been featured on all Fyffes bananas since September through early November. At the upcoming Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit, Fyffes invites retailers to discover more about its journey of partnership and innovation through the last 130 years."
A number of "firsts"
Shipping fruit for 130 years is likely to include some industry firsts. From its first shipment of two tiny banana bunches arriving from the Canary Islands to London in 1888, Fyffes now has a widespread presence with offices in 15 countries and over 6,000 employees. "Its pioneering spirit has inspired a number of industry firsts,” Tabard shared, “Fyffes is not only the world’s first fruit brand, but was also one of the first to import Fairtrade bananas in Europe”. Tabard added that these milestones were only possible because the company was able to establish mutually-beneficial partnerships in the regions they operate and a big part of this comes in the form of taking care of the local communities.
For the North America market, the company began with bananas as well as pineapples, but has since expanded on these, seeing opportunities in other markets such as melons and mushrooms. They have expanded into the latter through partnerships and acquisitions, including the acquisition of Sol Group Marketing in 2007 for melons, and Highline Mushrooms in 2016.
"Fyffes saw a growth opportunity in the melon and mushroom categories, and bought the companies we felt were best positioned to support that growth," Enda Walsh, President Fyffes North America shared. "These acquisitions are part of a long term strategy to expand our portfolio of products."
Diversification and fair trade
The company points out that by expanding on the number of source countries, by purchasing farms in different growing regions, and increasing the number of entry ports into North America, it has been able to grow while providing its customers with flexibility and a tailored service.
"'Doing it right together' as its guiding principle, Fyffes attributes its success to its expertise, long-lasting partnerships and dedication from all members of its community," she explained. "Since its early beginnings and throughout its expansive journey, Fyffes has been committed to sustaining fair practices to enrich the lives of its growing communities and to protect our environment for generations to come. Fyffes is one of the world’s leading Fair Trade banana suppliers, the largest grower of Fair Trade melons in Central America and the world’s largest organic mushroom grower. As Fyffes look to the future, the company aims to uphold its commitment and continue its efforts to lead the way with sustainable and fair practices across the industry."
Attendees at PMA Fresh Summit can visit Fyffes at Booth #3733.