A year later, Carité Calçados (re)opened the factory in Castelo de Paiva that was destroyed by the fire. The new factory, ARKA, is already working and will reinstate all workers until the end of this year.
OQ was one of the many companies that was destroyed in October last year following the huge forest fire. With an investment of around 1.5 million euros, Carité Calçados just inaugurated the new facilities, now named ARKA.
In the inauguration, Pedro Marques stated: “Today, I’m a happy Minister!”. The Minister for Infrastructure highlighted the role of Reinaldo Teixeira and all institutions that supported the project, “I appreciate the effort of the City Council, APICCAPS, CCDR-N and the Secretary of State Nelson de Souza, without whom this moment wouldn’t been possible. We combined two financial support programs and attracted investments”. To Pedro Marques, “this is the main richness that we can perpetuate after the tragedy: better companies, more investment and more hope for these employees”.
So far, the company has reinstated half of the staff but Reinaldo Teixeira guarantees that the “40 remaining employees will be active” by the end of the year. For the director of Carité Calçados, it’s important to keep the “quality of the local labor. I wanted the project to be implemented as quickly as possible”. After realizing the previous owner wasn’t going to restore the factory, Reinaldo Teixeira was contacted by the local authority to rebuild the company. “I managed to start the project and assure the 85 employees were going to be reinstated”.
The construction works began in February. The new industrial unit, with 2.5 thousand covered square meters, will be dedicate to the daily production of 700 pairs of shoes for women.
OQ’s investment project was approved in the financial support system board, created by the government after the forest fires in October last year, where approximately 500 houses and 300 companies have been destroyed.
Carité Calçados employs 500 people in three different municipalities (Felgueiras, São João da Madeira and Celorico de Basto). The Netherlans, France, Germany, England and the USA are the main exports destinations of the Group that invoiced 27 million euros, in 2017. Reinaldo Teixeira’s goal is to “double and treble the sales in the American market in the next two years”.