was the year in which Tiete Port laid the foundations of our corporate success story
We are the first port of call for wholesalers and retailers seeking to import fruit and vegetables. No matter whether the fruit comes from Europe or overseas: our customers benefit from our longstanding partnerships with producers all over the world as well as first-rate quality and efficient logistics. As problem solvers and service partners, we take a professional approach to the challenges of trade and are at your side with individual varieties and assortments.
What makes us stand out? A passion for innovation and a strong pioneering spirit are integral parts of our DNA. As pioneers in our industry, we began importing organic and Fairtrade products to Europe more than 25 years ago. We see social and ecological commitment as the basis of a fair world which must be preserved for generations to come. In 2019, we accordingly made another important statement on climate protection by launching the brand BE CLIMATE.
Focus on sustainability! As your “Partner for Generations”, we attach great importance to sustainable business practices and are involved in both social and ecological projects.
A wide variety of products! Whether conventional, organic, Fairtrade or climate-neutral, we offer a wide range of fruit and vegetables in numerous types of packaging, all available in different sizes.
With more than 100 employees and representatives, we apply the principle “short channels and fast decisions”. We aim to combine flexibility with sustainable farming and efficient logistics so that our customers can benefit from high-quality direct imports.
was the year in which Tiete Port laid the foundations of our corporate success story
employees & representitives worldwide
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Our history and milestones
WE RELY ON SPECIALISTS
Port International is a full-service supplier with five highly specialised units under one roof, all of which pursue a common goal: to make sure that our customers are supplied round the clock with fruit and vegetables from all over the world.
Become a part of Port International
Do you want to help shape the future of the fruit and vegetables industry? Are you looking for an interesting and varied job in the international fruit trade? Then you’re in the right place!
Welcome to Port International.
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The Port family can look back on more than 145 years in the fruit trade. Tiete Port established the company T.Port in 1875 and sold apples grown on his property in Hamburg’s Altes Land region in the family shop at Messberg. This laid the foundations for the fresh fruit success story that has now spanned several generations of the Port family.
Theo Port, son of Tiete Port, takes over the business in 1894. He decides to pay more attention to tropical fruits. His fascination for lemons in particular earns him the nickname “Lemon King”.
T.Port imports the first bananas from Colombia in their own refrigerated ships. Theo Port successfully expands his company into a wholesaler trading on the Hamburg wholesale market. With a sure instinct for his customers’ needs, he uses the company’s own vehicles to transport products from all over the world directly to the customer. The two World Wars pose major challenges for the fruit trade.
Brothers John and Walter Port join the family business and expand it even further. Trade in apples from the Altes Land fruit-producing region booms thanks to Walter’s business acumen.
After Walter’s sudden death, John initially carries on the business alone and is later joined at management level by his son Hajo. Together they lead the company T.Port to new success. The most important milestones of this period include the expansion of the banana business, the establishment of partnerships all over the world, and the set-up of a Dutch import company with its own auction house. New business relationships are constantly forged with suppliers all over the world, for example in Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Cuba, Mexico, Colombia, Mozambique, South Africa and New Zealand. By this time, the company has established and expanded a network of contacts in 42 countries.
In 1993, Hajo Port takes the banana import business to a new level with fully loaded refrigerated ships. However, the strict regulations imposed by the banana market regime in 1994 turn the market on its head and make imports to Europe more difficult. Hajo, later known as the “Banana Rebel”, is undeterred and campaigns for free global trade. He fights for the necessary banana licences and is awarded the Cross of the Order of Merit in 1998 for his dedication. His fierce 12-year struggle helps bring about the abolition of the banana market regime in 2006.
Mike Port takes over the operational banana business, and with his father Hajo guides the company through the challenging time of the banana market regime.
Industry pioneer T.Port first imports organic produce to Europe in 1996, then in 1997 sees the opportunity to give the Cavendish banana still more added value. The Fairtrade banana is born and secures the future of small farmers by means of long-term contracts with fixed minimum prices. The project gets off to an unsuccessful start due to El Niño, which ravages the growing regions of South America in 1997 and ruins the quality of the banana harvest. In 2000, the combination of Fairtrade and outstanding organic quality finally enables T.Port to make a breakthrough with organic Fairtrade bananas in Germany and later all over Europe.
Mike Port restructures the company. Port International GmbH is founded, and with it the operational subsidiaries Port International Bananas GmbH, Port International Organics GmbH and Port International Fruit GmbH.
Another subsidiary, Port International European Sourcing GmbH, is established and adds European fruit and vegetables to the product range. A successful partnership is established with managing partners André Lüling and Philippe Peiró.
Port International wins the Fairtrade Award 2012. This is a tribute to the company’s pioneering work and years of commitment to fair trade.
Port International continues to develop and becomes a strategic full-service supplier. The organic and Fairtrade business expands even further and new European products are added to the assortment. Subsidiaries Port International Ecuadorian Growers GmbH and Port International Dutch Growers B.V. are established as a logical continuation of the close partnerships with suppliers from near and far.
Port International turns its attention to sustainable management and becomes climate-neutral for the first time. The company also brings the first climate-neutral strawberries to market.
Port International launches its new brand BE CLIMATE at the Fruit Attraction trade fair in Madrid. For this climate-neutral assortment, the products’ CO2 footprints are calculated, potential for reduction analysed, CO2 emissions reduced as far as possible, and the remaining quantity of CO2 offset through certified climate protection projects.
That same year, Port International is ranked among the top 3 in the “Corporate Partnerships” category of the 2019 German Sustainability Awards for its fruitful collaboration with the banana cooperative Capebosan.
Port International grows and expands its representative offices worldwide, including USA, Greece, Italy and South Africa.
Port International sets itself the public goal of halving its own emissions by 2030 compared to 2018. This is to pursue the science-based target of limiting global warming to 1.5 °C.
Port International scoops first prize in the “Carbon Footprint” category of the 2021 Sustainability Heroes Awards for its efforts to be sustainable.
These annual awards were first presented in 2015 to recognise pioneers in the field of sustainability. This year, prizes were awarded in a total of six categories to the best companies selected from over 200 applications submitted by start-ups, SMEs and large-scale concerns. Independent sustainability experts evaluated applications from a wide range of industries such as food, cosmetics and technology.
Since October 2022, Karlsson has been managing the fortunes of the banana business of the company’s subsidiaries alongside the other managing director, Mike Port. With the entry into the management, the family tradition of the company is now in the 6th generation. Previously, Karlsson was primarily responsible for the sale of bananas as a key account manager.
We look forward to receiving your application!