Vieira de Castro obtains yet another certification for its Quality Management and Food Safety System: International Food Standard – IFS.
The construction of the new factory and the installation of new production equipment were completed, starting up the respective activity.
In view of the new challenges placed before the sector, Vieira de Castro is today stepping up its commitment to three strategic mainstays which it has defined as priorities – internationalisation, differentiation and innovation. The commitment to the development of new products and the search for new markets led to the decision to go ahead with the extension of its industrial premises, vital for taking the company to new heights.
Continuing the principles set out in its Quality Policy, the company was rewarded for its efforts with the obtaining of new certifications: HACCP, ISO 22000:2005, BRC (this being one of the most important standards worldwide) and ISO 9001:2008.
In the meantime, and as a consequence of the dynamic lent in terms of development, a numerous set of new products is presented to the market, exploring those concepts most associated with pleasure (chocolate-covered tartlets and biscuits) and health and well-being (digestive and wholewheat biscuits).
As a result of the implementation of the Quality System, new certification was attained – ISO 9001:2000.
In view of the evolution of the requirements and new lifestyles of consumers, convenience – in terms of the packaging design, both to facilitate its use and to promote on-the-go consumption – is defined as one of the strategic priorities of the company.
In the wake of its internationalisation process, and as it gradually expanded its presence on overseas’ markets, Vieira de Castro decided to go ahead with the implementation of a Quality System, obtaining its first certification in accordance with the certification ISO 9002:1994.
Further to the start of the activity of the new industrial confectionery unit the company also started committing to the production of Smarties style chocolate, becoming the first and only Portuguese company to have these means of production.
With the inauguration of a new industrial unit for confectionery products, the company also completed the process to deactivate its original premises, starting to concentrate its whole activity at the premises in Gavião. The company purchased Aliança, a brand which was a byword for Portuguese food products, namely for biscuits and chocolates.
The enterprise became a public limited company and entered a new stage characterised by the adoption of a new organisational model based on more modern, professionalised management and able to meet the new challenges place before it.
In the context of the celebration of 50 years of activity, the company overhauled its corporate identity and began to adopt the colours red and yellow which are more associated with the food sector.
Vieira de Castro started exporting, initially to the French market, but it quickly began to expand to other markets. In the meantime, it made its first appearance at a major international trade fair – ISM, in Germany – with a view to making contacts which would enable it to grow to new markets.
The company decided to invest in new equipment with state-of-the-art technology which enabled it to strengthen its capacity to develop new products and also open its horizons with a view to internationalisation.
With the construction of a new industrial unit in Gavião on the outskirts of the city of Famalicão, the company took the first major step towards the delocalisation of its premises from the city centre to the periphery, thereby creating the conditions required for the expansion of its activity. The market was characterised by a very traditional product range, something which allowed it to identify an opportunity to extend the product range to new concepts; the production of products with greater added value was thus commenced such as sandwich cookies and wafer biscuits.
Vieira de Castro became the first company in Portugal to produce almonds covered in chocolate, a category in which it attained leadership on the Portuguese market and which still has growing importance in its product portfolio.
The production of the famous Flocos de Neve boiled sweets began, still a reference product today in the company and on the Portuguese market. As with the Water and Salt cracker, Flocos de Neve boiled sweets have already become an icon of various generations.
The private limited company Vieira de Castro & Filhos Lda. was formed, represented by António Vieira de Castro and his children. With this change Vieira was seen for the first time as a trademark. At this time Vieira de Castro launched its Water and Salt cracker, standing out from those to be found on the market, and which rapidly became a major success nationwide, attaining segment leadership which it still has today.
In the context of these modifications which led the company to enter the biscuits market, it began to be called A. Vieira de Castro – Fábrica de Bolachas e Biscoitos.
The acquisition of the first biscuit and cracker production lines was negotiated and it was set up immediately; the first products were then launched onto the market which, at the time, were sold by weight.
The Sociedade Portuguesa de Confeitaria (Portuguese Confectionery Company) was purchased and its transfer was authorised to the premises of Vieira de Castro in Famalicão.
Face à crescente proliferação de estabelecimentos de venda de pastelaria e à perspectiva de evolução do mercado das bolachas, o fundador traçou uma nova linha estratégica orientada para o fabrico de bolachas.
Making the most of its experience in the production of sprinkles, a product traditionally associated with weddings and christenings, the company decided to commit to the production of sugared almonds which today still form part of the traditional celebration of Easter.
The company started its activity with the opening of a confectionery establishment and the tea salon A. Vieira de Castro, with the in-house manufacture of traditional pastries, boiled sweets and other confectionery products, also rendering wedding and christening services.
António Vieira de Castro adquire a Casa Cardoso, conhecida pela sua pastelaria tradicional.