Fyffes scales back worldoffruit

The fruit developer has axed plans to develop its internet venture worldoffruit and has laid-off half the portal’s 20 staff.

Following its failure to secure venture capital funding, fruit distributor Fyffes has been forced delay plans for the development of its worldoffruit.com portal on hold and has laid-off half of the portal’s 20 staff.

In a brief statement yesterday, Fyffes said that worldoffruit.com is scaling back its activities and expenditure on the portal would be well below that envisaged in the company’s original business plan and staff numbers have been reduced.

The statement continued: “Development expenditure during 2000 was approximately E15m. It is intended that worldoffruit will continue to operate but on a significantly reduced scale. Worldoffruit will continue to explore all the opportunities that could enable it to fulfil its original objectives.”

In early 2000, Fyffes had discussions with venture capitalists about funding worldoffruit.com's developments but decided against this sort of funding because the venture capitalists were looking for too big a stake in the portal.

Fyffes spent about E15m on the development of worldoffruit.com. The company is a leading supplier to Irish, British, Danish, Dutch and Spanish markets.