Marion Tabard was inspired to learn all she could about people at a young age, which has driven her passion for bettering the lives of others.
Marion Tabard, vice president of marketing at Fyffes, grew up in France and had the opportunity to travel extensively while growing up.
“It’s not what other kids got to experience,” Tabard said. “I was a lucky one. I remember when I would go back to school, I would look at France like a tiny country in the world to explore.”
Her passion for connecting with people has not wavered since.
Before her career in the produce industry began, Tabard worked with luxury goods.
In 1999 she was the marketing manager at Turbana and became marketing director in 2001. She stayed with Turbana until 2003 then returned in 2006.
Tabard said she did not know much about produce before Turbana. She became involved with Fyffes after the company bought 50% of Turbana in 2005.
In 2016, Tabard became vice president of marketing and communications for Fyffes in North America. She is responsible for the marketing activities of Fyffes NA, Sol Group Marketing and Highline Produce.
“As I started to discover the industry, I realized that the marketing wasn’t so much about the product itself, but rather what was behind the product,” Tabard said.
“We are lucky to grow and sell healthy products, but we have a responsibility with the communities that grow those products.”
As a marketer, Tabard knows her role is important to raise consumer awareness about people in those communities to better their lives.
Fyffes’ main products are bananas, melons and pineapples from Latin America and Central America.
With entire communities living off crops grown under Fyffes, Tabard works to empower them.
Enda Walsh, president of Fyffes North America, said Tabard has been passionate about social responsibility for a long time, and is also a part of Fyffes’ global sustainability steering committee.
Tabard is both friendly and professional, and she goes out of her way to be open and approachable, he added.
“She likes to go to the farms,” Walsh said. “She goes to Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica, and she wants to go and meet the people who work on the farms and understand the process all the way up and what it takes to produce a piece of fruit.”
Tabard also speaks five languages fluently.
Knowing the growers’ languages helps her understand what they go through and build a bond of trust with them, Tabard said.
“I felt like it was my responsibility to communicate what farmers were doing and show our customers what’s behind when you buy a banana,” Tabard said.
“I find it interesting to market a product that has the power to give people a better lifestyle, whether it’s in the consumer markets or our growing regions.”