It’s our anniversary! It’s been 130 years since our very first banana delivery...
Chances are that as a baby, your first finger food was a banana – possibly given to you by your loving grandparents. And when you started school, your lunchbox had a banana in it (thanks mum and dad). Then when you moved into your own place, you discovered for yourself how useful bananas were as a snack or as a cooking ingredient – and how good they were for a work-out! And before you knew it, you were watching your own baby wipe mashed banana into her hair… and the cycle began again.
For many generations Fyffes has been part of the family – working with communities in the tropics to bring bananas to Europe (and later, pineapples and melons too) - and more recently to America also. And as we mark the 130th anniversary of our first delivery of bananas, we would like to invite you to meet some of our family – the generations of people in our communities who help every day to grow and distribute Fyffes fruits.
It’s all about partnerships
From humble beginnings we have become a world class fresh produce business, but we never forget the value of long term, supportive relationships. We’ve been working for 50 years with some of our farmers and we’ve literally grown-up together – setting new standards and constantly innovating and improving. And walking beside our partners – NGOs, local and established foundations and of course the people in our communities – it’s been quite a journey. Sometimes a wild one – always a passionate one!
And we hope that every time you enjoy a Fyffes fruit you can taste the difference – in flavor and quality and in terms of fairness and respect for people and planet. Our efforts to set up the best possible partnership infrastructure for everybody involved in this business, from the worker on the farm to the grocer in Europe, have helped us to become the world’s largest Fairtrade banana distributor.
Curious about how we work in our communities? Here is an example...
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 and the “Ivan Dario Palacios” park has been opened to provide a safe meeting place for local children.
FYFFES & UNICEF
But in other regions too there are communities in need of support. During the last 10 years we have launched several projects with UNICEF to protect children around the globe. Our initiative to combat the spread of malaria among orphaned and vulnerable children and pregnant women in Mozambique has saved the lives of over 11,400 children under the age of five and prevented over 200,000 cases of malaria.
In 2014 Fyffes partnered with UNICEF Ireland and committed to donate at least one million polio vaccines to help achieve the goal of eradicating polio by 2018. Bespoke Freddy Fyffes bags of bananas were available in Irish stores, where the purchase of 1 bag equaled 1 vaccination.
"Without the support from Fyffes in 2014, 1 million children would not have benefitted from polio vaccinations. This support has made a life changing difference to the children of Nigeria. Fyffes's support has left children happier and healthier and given them hope for the future. Thank you, Fyffes!"
Melissa Corkum, Polio Specialist, UNICEF Nigeria.
These days we better understand that what we do today can have a lasting impact – we need to care for the soil and the people living in the sourcing areas if we want to provide healthy, great tasting tropical fruits for the next generation. So in Latin America, we support reforestation schemes and water programs and work with local people to protect their environment - because it matters to all of us.
So here’s to the next 130 years… of kids enjoying yummy banana treats, fresh pineapples and cold juicy melons on hot sunny days – from a brand created by people in partnership who go that little bit further for both people and planet.