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Fyffes names Chief Commercial Officer

fyffes burkhardt

6th June 2024: Leading global tropical fresh fruit producer, Fyffes BB #:141492, has announced the appointment of Frank Burkhardt as Chief Commercial Officer to oversee an ambitious growth strategy, which includes the promotion of a new sustainable brand proposition, Trudi’s, and a focus on delivering against the company vision – Shaping Wellbeing for the World – over the coming years.

Fyffes is one of the world’s largest and oldest tropical produce importers and distributors. The company exports to more than 500 retailers in 22 countries across Europe and North America with an infrastructure that includes production, procurement, shipping, ripening, and distribution of bananas, pineapples, and melons. Fyffes is also the largest importer of bananas in Europe and the number one importer of offshore melons in North America.

After undergoing a significant transformation programme over the last three years and appointing a new CEO and executive leadership team, Fyffes has developed an ambitious growth strategy. This strategy aims to diversify its portfolio to better meet the needs of both retailers and consumers while driving positive social and environmental impact across its supply chain and among the communities where its fruit is produced.

In a potentially market-disrupting move, Fyffes has recently launched a new consumer fruit brand, Trudi’s, in continental Europe, which has been founded on the desire of consumers to not only eat healthy, fresh and nutritious produce but to ensure that the fruit they eat is also doing good in the communities among the people who cultivate fresh produce.

Fyffes is currently discussing with select retailers across Europe to trial this exciting, transformative brand this year. With an investment of over EUR 1 million in market intelligence, testing, and creative support for Trudi’s, Fyffes is eager to activate the brand in partnership with European retailers over the coming years and has plans for location-based marketing campaigns that include targeted digital content, billboard/out-of-home, and in-store promotions.

This most recent appointment of Burkhardt as Chief Commercial Officer is critical to the rollout and success of the commercial strategy for Fyffes and its new brand proposition. With more than 20 years’ experience in sales and marketing across various industries, categories and regions, Frank is well placed to grow Fyffes business in strategic markets.

Before joining Fyffes, Frank most recently served as the Group Chief Marketing Officer at Holcim, starting in December 2021, and was previously CMO at L’Oréal Switzerland. Before his time at L’Oréal, Frank held multiple positions at Procter & Gamble, including Commercial Director Europe, Head of eCommerce DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), Sales Director Drug Channel DACH, Market Strategy & Planning Director Gillette DACH, and Key Account Management. Frank’s tenure at Procter & Gamble spanned from 2003 to 2018.

Commenting on the appointment, CEO Helge Sparsoe said:
“With his knowledge, experience, and keen insights into commercial strategy across a range of sectors, Frank will play a key role in helping us deliver an ambitious, go-to-market commercial strategy across key markets within the EU, the UK, and the US. For the last three years, we have been focused on leveraging the years of knowledge and brand reputation within Fyffes, while evolving rapidly to reflect the needs of our customers, employees, consumers, and communities into the future.

We set out with a new vision and strategy: Shaping Wellbeing for the World. The ethos behind our business strategy is that doing business right will be right for business, and the ambition is to embrace this philosophy across the entire value chain. We have also invested in key business areas and focused on realising commercial efficiencies and best-in-class working facilities across our communities. This business model has placed us ahead of our competitors regarding carbon footprint, community welfare, and employee wellbeing – leading the industry towards more sustainable fruit production. I look forward to building on these achievements and with Frank’s support, collaborating further with our retail partners on how we can best drive value for them in the coming years.

Frank Burkhardt said:
“I am delighted to join Fyffes at such a pivotal moment for the business as it seeks to capitalise on its excellent reputation and 130-year history while transforming to become a more sustainable, future-focused organisation. The launch of Trudi’s offers a truly sustainable proposition that we firmly believe will bring an exciting new choice and opportunity for both retailers and their consumers – something that hasn’t been seen in this space for a long time. I look forward to working closely with our retail partners across the many markets in which we operate and building on many exciting prospects and partnership opportunities in our pipeline.”

About Fyffes
For over 130 years Fyffes has brought a choice of tropical produce to countless millions worldwide. We achieve the highest quality by nurturing relationships with our growers, supporting our employees, and diligently serving each link in the chain: production, procurement, shipping, ripening, distribution, and marketing. This approach has earned Fyffes leadership across multiple markets; today we are the largest importer of Fairtrade-certified bananas in the world. We are also one of the largest banana and pineapple importers in Europe and the biggest melon importer in North America. We became part of the Sumitomo Corporation in 2017, advancing our industry leadership in many exciting ways.

Contact Information
Michaela Schneider
Marketing Manager Continental Europe