The history of the foundation of the company Valente Marques merges itself with the history of the watermills existing around Oliveira de Azeméis for more than two centuries ago. It all begins with a small watermill by the riverbank, with a traditional and rudimentary manufacturing process where the family was dedicated to rice shelling.
In the Seventies, Valente Marques builds his own rice mill in the parish of Ul, Oliveira de Azemeis, and there starts the history of the Valente Marques company and of the CAÇAROLA rice, which conquered the Portuguese food market and has become a benchmark till the present day.
In 1980, the Parboiled Rice production unit is installed being, still today, the only unit of its kind in Portugal, and in 1991 it was totally recuperated.
To expand the range of products, Valente Marques started in the early Nineties the marketing of pulses and beans, dried and cooked. Nine years later, a new step forward took place with the introduction of pasta and noodles.
In 2011, a new production unit was built, this time devoted to the manufacture of brown rice and rice and corn tartlets under the new CRACKIES brand. Crackies are a range of products developed with 100% Portuguese raw-materials, gluten free, and low in calories, essential for a balanced diet.
One of the major concerns of Valente Marques at present is the company's approach to its primitive main product: Rice. The follow-up of the value chain, from the selection of the seed (in close partnership with the farmers), to planting, harvesting and drying, up to the reception of the rice in the plant, already dried and ready for shelling and hulling. Still following the same philosophy, Valente Marques invested in 2013 and doubled its silo capacity, increasing the size and quality of the warehouses to store paddy rice.
Quality is the key-word. The Company is certified according to the standards NP EN ISO 22000:2005 and IFS V6:2012, allowing us to ensure the highest levels of quality, efficiency and performance.
After the consolidation of the Portuguese market, Valente Marques has been implementing since 2009 a new strategy to open the company to internationalization. Exports represent at present a turnover of 18%.
The know-how obtained over these last 45 years, as well as the deep knowledge of the market, provides Valente Marques the tools to grow, innovate and offer our Clients high quality level, healthy and strictly controlled products.
The Company's certification allows us to provide a service of excellence. It is the priority of Grupo Valente Marques to comply with every legal requirement when it comes to Environment, Hygiene and Safety at Work as well as Food Safety.
INTERNATIONAL FEATURED STANDARD
IFS (International Featured Standards) are developed for all stakeholders involved in the supply chain that wish to ensure the quality and the safety of food or non-food products and related services.
These standards comply with the fulfilment of the safety legal requirements and provide combined and clear standards for our suppliers, as well as straight answers to our customers' expectations in what regards the safety of our products.
IFS Food applies when products are "processed” or when there is a hazard for product contamination during primary packing. The focus is on food safety and the quality of processes and products. It concerns food processing companies and companies that pack lose food products.
The IFS Food standard establishes the requirements for the organizations that wish to distinguish themselves for the excellence in quality, food safety and customers’ satisfaction. The IFS Food Standard is a GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) recognized standard for auditing food manufacturers, especially those producing private labels, as it contains many requirements related to the compliance with customer specifications.
FOOD SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
ISO 22000 – Food Safety Management Systems (FSMS) - This International Standard integrates the principles of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system and application steps developed by the Codex Alimentarius Commission internationally recognized. This standard specifies requirements for a food safety management system where an organization in the food chain needs to demonstrate its ability to control food safety hazards to ensure that food is safe at the time of human consumption.
Although only food safety requirements are mentioned, this standard suggests that the same methodology will also be applied to ethical and awareness issues of the consumers.
An organization certified by this ISO 22000 shows the market that it has a food safety management system capable to supply safe products, or that result in safe products, for the consumer when used according to the provided instructions of use, in compliance with the legal and regulatory requirements, as well as the customers', as far as food safety is concerned.