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ADF and GARDE participate in Portugal Premium Experience event at the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and Industry

ADF (NPO Aoyama Design Forum) and GARDE were invited by the Portuguese Business Association and the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and Industry to the Portugal Premium Experience event, and participated in the business conference and factory tour sessions in Porto, the second largest city in Portugal. 

This initiative is the first of its kind to invite mainly Japanese, Korean, and Chinese companies and media, with the objective of collaborating with Asian countries to promote small and medium-sized enterprises, which are said to account for 96% of Portuguese companies and are the bulk of the country's industry as a whole.

A memorable chat was had with him on the last night of the event

The picturesque cityscape, which retains its traditional beauty, is blended in places with modern art, showing the people's deep knowledge of the arts. For this session of business conferences and factory visits, we visited four companies in Porto.

ACL: Company engaged in the planning and production of concrete processing materials 

ACL plans and produces a wide range of products, from large concrete pipes used for urban infrastructure development, and various exterior materials for houses and offices, to materials for interior décor. Mr. Pereira, the general manager, took visitors on a tour of the company's products and manufacturing process. The company has recently succeeded in developing a new concrete material in sheet form, which can be used for both interior and exterior decorations. The company's concrete panels, which simulate the textures of wood and metal, are water and abrasion resistant, and the company is making the utmost effort to reduce its ecological footprint.

Front Entrace of the Heaquarters

Panoramic view of the factory site. A vast space that resembles a town

The showroom was jam-packed with displays of panels for walls and floors

Concrete sheets are made from 100% natural materials

ARCH VALADARES: A company that manufactures and wholesales mainly sanitary products (bathtubs, toilets, etc.) 

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the company's founding, and ARCH VALADARES plans to expand its business into the Asian region. According to David, the export manager, the company not only mass-produces standard products by the same specifications, but also accepts a wide range of one-of-a-kind special order. The production process of these products is carried out through a manual process similar to the production of traditional crafts.

Panoramic view of the headquarters

The kiln is so long that you can't see the end of it

Various designs of ceramic products are neatly arranged in the factory

Aleluia Ceramicas: Tile manufacturer for interior and exterior applications

For 170 years since its establishment, Aleluia Ceramicas has been producing ceramic tiles. They accept orders for single items, and produce not only materials for walls and floors, but also decorative products for interior and exterior decorations, such as murals created with ceramic tiles. The company offers a wide range of designs and textures, from modern to medieval. Mr. Ruis, director of the company, introduced us to their range of products as well as their production site.

Panoramic view of headquarters

Showroom with a wide variety of samples

Painting pieces in the workshop of special-order products with care

Dom Villas: Agriculture, cheese, and food production

The Dom Villas factory is located in the lush countryside of Porto. The company was created by two brothers who wanted to take over their family' s agricultural business. The company has been in business for 22 years, and specializes mainly in goat cheese, cow cheese, and sheep cheese. It is one of the parent company's holding brands, DOM VILLAS, CASA MENDEVILMAN, and LOUROFOODS. The company offers organic, lactose-free, low-fat cheeses and is currently experimenting with herbs and spices. They also produce vegan cheese under the LOUROFOODS brand. The milk comes from Porto and the herbs are imported from other parts of Portugal. What makes Portuguese cheese different from cheeses from other countries is that they have kept the centuries-old traditional cheese production methods alive, with the goal of ensuring that future generations of Portuguese children will enjoy the same taste as their ancestors. The company has not yet entered the Japanese market but has recently established a presence in Macau and plans to expand its presence in Asia, and will participate in FOODEX in Japan in 2023. 

Before entering the factory, wear protective clothing to avoid contaminating the cheese

Inside the factory. Different types of cheeses are isolated from each other to prevent the transfer of differing aromas

Three-week aged cheese

Three-month aged cheese

An additional tasting of a variety of DOM VILLAS products, including organic, lactose-free, spice and herb products

Tasting: plain, oregano, paprika and pepper Set of four

Conservas: Canned food (fish and shellfish) manufacturer

Established in 1912, this family-owned company has a long tradition of manufacturing and wholesaling canned fish such as sardines, tuna, and mackerel, creating products of diverse tastes and shapes.

For its plans for Asian expansion, the company have also added teriyaki and miso flavors as new additions to its product lineup.

We visited the store and factory in Matosinhos, Portugal, close to the fishing port. The retro-inspired packaging has remained unchanged in its basic design for over 100 years.

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