About us

A brief overview of our history

It all began in the 1960s with a son and a father selling codfish door-to-door on the streets of downtown Lisbon. Back in those days, João Alves would leave the grocery store in São Pedro da Cadeira, Torres Vedras, along with his father to help him deliver “Faithful friend” bales.

 

The codfish industry made its mark on him and, years later, around 1985, after he had established himself, João Alves found inspiration on the name of his two sons — Ricardo and Bernardo Alves — to build a company that would be become a reference within the codfish industry. That company was Riberalves.

In its early days, Riberalves was a distribution company, a Cash & Carry unit with a significant investment in the food sector. By that time codfish already played an important role in the company. In fact, it did so to such an extent that it eventually became necessary for Riberalves to rent codfish drying plants.

Around 1990, after the Cash & Carry was sold, João Alves decided to invest solely on cod industry and processing and launched the first substantial Riberalves investment: he built an industrial unit in Carvalhal, Torres Vedras, which today houses the Riberalves headquarters. This is where all decisions and activities of the company are coordinated.

 

Riberalves Codfish, a National Passion.

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Despite its growth, Riberalves is still a family-run business and a 100% Portuguese company. Ricardo and Bernardo Alves — whose names inspired the naming of the company — and their parents João and Manuela Alves are part of the administrative structure of a group that has been constantly developing throughout the years. Riberalves currently employs around 500 workers. More than just a company, Riberalves became a large family. It shares with the Portuguese people — the #1 codfish consumer country in the world — an extraordinary passion for the «Faithful Friend». A national passion.

A leading company in the quite mature and demanding Portuguese market, Riberalves stands out for its investment on quality and innovation, developing new products that have consistently allowed for the company to expand to new markets. National borders do not confine the reach of this company — Riberalves can be found in more than 20 countries. About 40% of its production is exported to what is known as the “Mercado da Saudade” [“The longing market”], a market that brings together all foreign communities of Portuguese origin or influence.

Each year Riberalves produces 30 thousand tons of codfish, the equivalent to 8-10% of all codfish that caught in the world. The production capacity of the company saw a considerable boost in 2000 after an investment in the industrial unit of Moita. Today this is the single largest industrial facility in the world exclusively devoted to codfish processing. In this unit Riberalves implements its own technology, conceived to assure the production of the Ready-to-Cook Deep-Frozen Desalted Codfish. Due to its quality and convenience, this product fostered a reinvention of the way people eat the “faithful friend”, opening doors to new markets.

It is precisely at the industrial unit in Moita that the production process of the Ready-to-Cook Deep-Frozen Desalted Riberalves Codfish takes place. This product was launched in 2000 and thanks to its quality and convenience it became a staple for young consumers and families alike as well as a most convenient solution for the catering industry. It also opened up several new international markets for Riberalves. The reason behind such success is that this product frees consumers from certain constraints like having to soak and freeze codfish at home, whilst delivering premium quality Traditional Portuguese Cure cod.