The Fyffes Timeline
From tea to bananas;
our story begins
Go south my boy! From their base in Perth, Scotland, the Fyffes family send young Henry to set up a new business in London as a "Grocer and Tea Dealer"
Ida, I have an idea ... Edward Wathen Fyffe (Henry's great grandson) takes his wife, Ida, to the Canary Islands to recover from Tuberculosis. Whilst there, he is impressed by the quality and the fabulous taste of the bananas and decides that he will set up an import agency in London for growers looking for new markets. Ida makes a full recovery.
The first two bunches: Edward's first tiny shipment of two bunches of bananas arrives at the offices of E.W.Fyffes & Sons, 148 ½ Fenchurch Street. The business grows so fast that Edward soon has no time for tea!
Now available in Ireland: The first bananas from Fyffes reach Ireland.
That's cool! Now known as Elders & Fyffes, the company's ships are fitted with cooling equipment that make it possible to ship larger quantities of bananas on a reliable and consistent basis. Bananas become much more widely available.
The world's first fruit brand; Elders and Fyffes becomes Fyffes
The Fyffes Blue Label is born! Fyffes becomes the first fruit company in the world to put a label on their produce.
Bananas for the children: On 30th December the Fyffes ship, SS Tilapa, brings the first commercial shipment of 10 million bananas into the UK after World War II. The government proclaims that all the bananas should go to children - a new generation get their first taste of this exotic tropical fruit.
Caution - this banana should be peeled before eating! During the difficult years after the war, food is rationed in the UK and bananas are scarce. But by 1950 bananas are becoming more widely available and a cinema commercial is produced, giving advice on how to eat one.
More than just bananas: Fyffes branches out into other fruits and vegetables.
One voice: Fruit Importers of Ireland is formed under the leadership of Neil McCann. The group distributes leading brands from around the world, on an exclusive basis.
Fyffes Group Ltd. Elders & Fyffes becomes Fyffes Group Ltd.
We're now a plc!
A focus on the environment
Fyffes plc: Fyffes is acquired by Fruit Importers of Ireland (FII) and is renamed Fyffes plc.
Our code of practice: Fyffes introduces its "Code of Practice" to which its companies and contractual partners must comply. The Code sets high standards in relation to product, people and environment.
- Fyffes acquires Velleman & Tas BV (founded in 1850), one of Europe's leading banana distributors and the Netherlands' largest fresh produce company.
Fyffes Bio - guaranteed, naturally! Fyffes focus on organic production and take their first organic bananas into the UK.
Fyffes join EurepGAP: As part of its commitment to trading fairly and a focus on international certification standards, Fyffes becomes a member of EurepGAP (now GlobalGAP).
First for Fairtrade; Fyffes Organic Bio is launched
Fyffes are first with Fairtrade: Fyffes work with Fairtrade to bring the first Fairtrade labelled bananas into the UK (they soon become the biggest importer of Fairtrade bananas into the UK and later, into Europe).
Fyffes also joins the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) - an organisation intent on improving the lives of workers across the globe.
A new partner: Internationale Fruichimport Geselleschaft Weichert & Co. KG in Hamburg becomes part of the Fyffes family.
Fyffes in North America: Fyffes enters into a strategic alliance with Uniban SA (the main banana and plantain export company in Colombia) through a 50/50 ownership in Turbana Corporation, Florida. Fyffes becomes the fifth largest banana supplier to the US market.
Total Produce: So that it may focus on its tropical business, Fyffes demerges its general produce and distribution business into a new separately quoted company - Total Produce plc begins trading on 30th December.
Fyffes enters the US winter melon business, acquiring 60% of Sol Group Marketing Company, Florida.
Fyffes commits to a natural taste: Fyffes reaffirms its commitment to organic produce as part of a drive for social responsibility and sustainability.
Fyffes supports the UNICEF programme in Mozambique to prevent childhood malaria.
Happy 80th birthday! On 16th July, the Fyffes brand celebrates its 80th birthday. The Fyffes Blue Label stands for premium quality and sustainable production.
Growth in Europe; a 125th birthday!
Weichert celebrates its centenary: - On 10th October, Weichert GmbH & Co.KG (a Fyffes joint venture company based in Hamburg, Germany) celebrates its 100th birthday.
- On 11th August, Turbana Corporation (a Fyffes joint venture company based in Florida, US) celebrates its 40th birthday.
- On 19th October, Fyffes Group Limited becomes the first UK Banana Importer and Distributor to be awarded the Carbon Trust Standard.
A stronger position in Germany: In January Fyffes acquires 33.3% of Fruchtimport van Wylick GmbH in Germany - this association creates new opportunities to provide services to the wholesale and retail sectors.
125 years old and still going strong! On 20th September Fyffes celebrates its 125th birthday!
A New Chapter: On 17th February 2017 ownership of the company passes to Sumitomo Corporation.