Our History

From Tea to Tropical Fruit

1789

From their base in Perth, Scotland

The Fyffe family send young Henry Fyffe to set up a new business in London as a “Grocer and Tea Dealer”.

1887

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.

1888

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!

1900

The first bananas from Fyffes reach Ireland.

1901

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.

1929

The Fyffes Blue Label is born!

Fyffes becomes the first fruit company in the world to put a label on their produce.

1945

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.

1969

Fyffes Group Ltd. Elders & Fyffes becomes Fyffes Group Ltd.

1975

In 1975 Velleman & Tas (later acquired by Fyffes) enters into a strategic partnership with the Colombian cooperative Uniban.

1986

Fyffes is acquired by Fruit Importers of Ireland (FII) under the leadership of Neil McCann and is renamed Fyffes plc.

1995

After first joining the company in 1986, David McCann, Neil’s son, becomes CEO in 1995 and Chairman in 2006.

1997

Our first 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.

1998

Going Organic!

Fyffes focuses on organic production and takes its first organic bananas into the UK.

1999

Fyffes becomes a founding member of EurepGAP (now GlobalGAP)

As part of its commitment to trading fairly and a focus on international certification standards.

2000

Fyffes is first with Fairtrade

Fyffes works with Fairtrade to bring the first Fairtrade labelled bananas into the UK (the company soon becomes the biggest importer of Fairtrade bananas into the UK and later, into Europe).

2003

A new partner

Internationale Fruchtimport Gesellschaft Weichert & Co. KG (‘Inter Weichert’) in Hamburg becomes part of the Fyffes family.

2005

Fyffes in North America

Fyffes enters into a strategic alliance with Uniban SA (the main banana and plantain export cooperative in Colombia) through a 50/50 ownership in Turbana Corporation, Florida. Fyffes becomes the fifth largest banana supplier to the US market.

2007

Fyffes enters the US winter melon business, acquiring 60% (later increasing our stake to 100%) of Sol Group Marketing Company, Florida.

2008

Fyffes gets into pineapple farming with its acquisition of Anexco in Costa Rica.

2013

125 years old and still going strong!

20th September, Fyffes celebrates its 125th birthday!

2015

Fyffes purchases its first banana farm Finca Frutas de Escocia in Costa Rica.

2016

We launch Fyffes bananas in North America

Turbana Corporation becomes Fyffes North America.

2017

A new chapter

On 17th February 2017, ownership of the company passes to Sumitomo Corporation.

2018

Fyffes designs its first ever global sustainability strategy, aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

2019

Fyffes completes its ownership of Inter Weichert

Fyffes launches the Fyffes Principles of Responsible Business Conduct.

2020

New CEO!

Helge Sparsoe becomes CEO and initiates a strategic review of the company.

2021

Fyffes to launch comprehensive Sustainability Report outlining goals, commitments and metrics for future best practice.