About us

Company profile


Formed as a company in 1945, the business counted on its heritage and tradition to maintain the commitment it had taken on – to offer the market quality products and  service nationally and internationally.

Since the early days Icel has invested in strategic and sustainable growth and in 1973 began exports to demanding markets like the United States, Canada, Australia, Sweden and Denmark and nowadays is represented in 35 countries on several continents.

This success is due to important factors like the  capacity of evaluating and responding efficiently to the different market requirements, thus developing a culture of innovation in the products and materials, great flexibility in production arising from the updated technology in modernizing the processes and a constant concern for qualifying everyone who is a part of the company.

Nowadays the company has a staff of 190,  produces 3.2 million items intended for the household and professional sectors and the turnover is close to € 9,000,000 a year, with 70% of this amount being exports. It is a national leader in the domestic and professional cutlery sector.


Icel’s mission is customer satisfaction as a supplier of quality cutlery products intended for the domestic and international markets guaranteeing competitive prices and delivery times in accordance with their expectations.

Company headquarters

Company headquarters



Icel was born from a small family workshop created in the forties by three brothers in which steel was worked and from which agricultural and kitchen cutlery items were turned out.

This workshop was located in Ribafria, a small village near Benedita. In the beginning, the product range consisted of pen knives and a few totally hand made knives. The grade of steel was carbon steel that was forged and hardened with rudimental equipment, the energy used being produced from coal. The handles were made of animal bones and horns. As production rose, distribution was no longer local and became regional and the products were then available in shops and markets in different points of the country, mostly transported by rail.

By 1945 the small workshop had 25 employees and the decision was taken to establish a company called Indústria de Cutelarias da Estremadura, Lda. from which the first brand name Icel would be the outcome.


Additional Information

  •  1940                                     Creation of family workshop 
  •  1945                                     Foundation of the company in Ribafria 
  •  1950                                     Study and development of the logo and registration of the brand Icel 
  •  1966                                    Move of the facilities to Benedita 
  •  1972                                    The first exports are made  
  • 1973                                     Develops new product concepts and registers Zanger-Icel brand  
  • 1976                                     Acquirement of the first automatic grinding machine
  •  1989                                    Introduction of the first computer system of Integrated Management 
  •  1990                                    Enlargement and improvement of the facilities on the Administrative and Social areas 
  •  1993                                    First attribution of the Prize SME Prestige  
  • 1994                                     Receives honourable mention by Portuguese Centre of Design 
  • 1995                                     Certification of the products by National Sanitary Foundation in USA 
  • 1997                                     Increase of the capital stock and alteration of the company statues to Corporate Company 
  •  1998                                    Certification of the Quality System, according to the Standard ISO 9002 by APCER 
  • 1998                                    Development of first knife series with stainless steel handle 
  •  1999                                   Receives Design Award of Product by Portuguese Centre of Design  
  • 1999                                    Prize SME Prestige 
  •  2000                                   Prize SME Prestige 
  •  2001                                   Introduction of the non-slippery material – Proflex – on knife handles for professionals
  • 2001                                    Registration of the brand name - Proflex 
  •  2001                                   Prize SME Prestige 
  • 2003                                    Certification of the Management System, according to Standard ISO 9001 as well as Environment Management by Standard  14001 by APCER  
  • 2005                                   Introduction of the robotic in the manufacturing process  
  • 2007                                  Join the program Compro o que é nosso 
  • 2008                                  Introduction of the Antibacterial Protection on Proflex knife handles


Quality Policy


Icel’s Quality, Environment and Safety politics is oriented by four main axles, connected among themselves in order to enable an appropriate and systematic answer to the market.

Customers: Being proactive is a positioning strategy; quality, brand image and customer satisfaction is our goal. Continuous improvement, innovations of product and process, flexibilisation and optimisation of quality/price the way we found to assure, to conquer a strong presence in international markets and keep a solid position in the distribution channel.

Suppliers:  Their correct evaluation and qualification is the method to assure the quality of the raw-material and products in order to guarantee the characteristics of the final product, reduce environment impact and eliminate the risks for health and safety of the employees.

Resources: Qualifying and Training; the efficient management and organization of the material and human means based on the flexibility and polyvalence; the development of new processes and products associated to solutions technologically more clean, economical and appropriate to the areas of Environment, Quality, Safety and Productivity; adoption of preventive measures/actions leading to reduction of pollution for health and safety in its origin are the base to guarantee the competitiveness in the cutlery business, the company growth, the health protection and safety of all employees; the environment pollution prevention and the continuous improvement.

Environment: Adaptation of a social active approach, responsible and transparent. Assuming the total comply with rules, legal requirements and other applicable as well as the commitment of a continuous improvement of the processes, products, environment performance and safety of people and goods in order to integrate itself in the surrounding community and assure, through a sustainable development, the satisfaction of the shareholders, employees, suppliers and customers.