The MMRA turns 40 this November. The family-based company still considers itself “a child” but has taken the path toward internationalization. It is with the support of innovation and sustainability that it hopes to be able to weather the current storm and ensure its longevity.
“When Maria Madalena started, it was a clothing company. With time, we changed to knitwear and, currently, the clothing part exists, but under a different name”, says Joaquim Monteiro, from the finance department, one of the four partners, in an interview with T Jornal.
“Initially, we didn’t do sales but rather provided services. It was over the years that we started buying yarns, selling raw and later finished knits”, says Joaquim Monteiro succinctly.
The company started with just one loom, three workers, and a production area of 150 square meters. Today, MMRA has 27 employees (52 if we count the clothing company), a covered area of 5600 square meters, and a production capacity of 130 to 140 tons of mesh per month.
The knitwear company currently exports between 10 and 15% of its production. The objective is to increase this percentage to 50% in the coming years. But, as “the market isn’t created overnight”, they have invested in their presence at fairs.
“The countries we work in are Germany, Spain, Romania, France, and Belgium, and we still have a customer in the United States (although shipping for this customer is made to Romania), but it is in all our interests to achieve more in the United States, but slowly”.
In the future, the company intends to continue investing in its development department in machinery to increase production efficiency. A possible change of facilities and new hires are also in the plans: “We will not turn our backs on adversity”, guarantees Joaquim Monteiro.