Fyffe’s going bananas to celebrate a remarkable 130 years in the business
SWORDS-BASED firm Fyffes, Europe’s largest banana importer and leading marketer of organic and Fairtrade bananas, recently celebrated its 130th anniversary.
It was on September 20, 1888 that the young Edward Watham Fyffe sold his very first bananas in London’s Covent Garden. This followed a trip to the Canaries to help his wife Ida recover from tuberculosis. Once there he became intrigued by the world of tropical fruits, most significantly the banana, to the extent that he overcame many difficulties to find a way to import them back to the UK.
Acquired in 1986 by Dundalk fruit importers, Mccanns – and now part of the Japanese Sumitomo Corporation – Fyffes has grown to become a multi-national brand with an annual turnover of €1.2 billion.
In a comment on the milestone for the company, Fyffes Chairman, David Mccann, said: ‘By marking 130 years in the banana business we are shining the spotlight on the generations of wonderful people and partners who have contributed to our success over those years – and on those who will do so as we move forward.’
Fyffe’s source a lot of bananas in Colombia and are proud of the work they do in communities there.
A company spokesperson said of that work: ‘Lots of our bananas come from Colombia, where for decades we have worked alongside Uniban – one of the largest banana co-operatives.
‘Together, we are helping local people improve their living standards by contributing towards new housing, schools, hospitals and playgrounds and by supporting education.
‘In the Uraba region, for example, 640 families have moved into new houses funded through the sale of Fairtrade bananas.’
Fyffes chairman, David Mccann.