After the end of World War II and the recovery of the country, the process of industrialization of paprika production and processing began . That process involved the centralization of production. That year, the pepper processing and the mills from Novi Knezevac and surrounding areas of Martonos, Horgos and Kanjiza administratively associated (the decision dated 30/05/1947.) thus setting up the processing and milling paprika based in Horgos. Initially Obilic mill of Novi Knezevac was among them,and later the Drier of Novi Knezevac .
The construction of a modern Dryer in Novi Knezevac, on the site of today's factory Aleva, started in July 1947 and ended in December of the same year. With 12 permanent employees and 60 seasonal workers, the Dryer began with the processing of peppers in the first week of 1948.
Photo: Construction of the mill in 1947 on the site of the present factory
With all the difficulties and problems that existed in the weakened and the war-torn country, the Dryer started well in the first year of its work, buying up larger quantities of peppers than planned. But despite the enthusiasm of the management and employees, the results at the end of the year, primarily due to unfavorable weather conditions, were not satisfactory. That year the three-floor watchtower was erected with a loft designed for drying peppers, about 60m long and 5m wide.
62.7 wagons of paprika were produced, of which 51.5 wagons were exported.
The mode of production did not quickly change: it was manual. Only hot peppers were processed because sweet peppers for processing had not been produced yet in this region.
Photos: Aleva’s workers in 1948; the factory grounds in 1950.
The first conference on the subject of drying peppers was held. Its conclusions were based on many years of experience in the production and processing: the phases and duration of the peppers drying process, - fermentation in the open air, the drying temperature for the optimum moisture in the product etc. were defined. That year two modern kilns called "Fauli" were built in Novi Knezevac, 45 m long and 10 meters wide . In one drier , there were 20 chambers, each having 4 furnaces. 3600 pepper wreaths may have hung to dry in the chambers , depending on humidity they contained, up to 6 days.
Peppers were strung in wreaths weighing of 10-12 kg. Depending on the skills, one woman was able to string 15-18 wreaths during the working day. In general, work on the production of paprika was difficult. Mostly women worked and up to 14 hours a day, in the open and often under very bad weather conditions.
Workers were divided into brigades, and a brigadier led each job . The brigades competed among themselves in their work and at the whole industry level. In 1948, 15 brigades with 621 workers took part in the competition.
Photo: the stringing of peppers within the factory in 1954 and 1955
A decision was made to single out the operating units of Novi Knezevac and Ostojicevo of the industry for processing and grinding of pepper Horgos and to form an independent company in Novi Knezevac called Banat paprika industry. On 28 March of 1952 a company for paprika production was set up: paprika industry Aleva .
Photo: the first sign of Aleva in 1952; the exclusive packaging of delicates paprika in 1950s.;
In Novi Knezevac an experimental field for the selection of spicy peppers was opened, which represented the first attempt in the former Yugoslavia of obtaining a sweet pepper varieties in this way. At that time in Yugoslavia only hot peppers were grown, which was very difficult to process into ground sweet paprika, especially the phase of splitting peppers. "... not all (women) could stand that sharpness. In the first week of splitting peppers, for nights they could not sleep , the sharpness stinging their hands, so they had to cool them in water. “
Photo: the splitting of peppers
A new mill was opened. Within the former Yugoslavia Aleva became a true giant with 24 pairs of stones for grinding peppers, that could grind 120 wagons of peppers a year.
Photos: The new mill with pneumatic transport in 1955; hand-packing of paprika in 1955
Aleva expanded activities in the fruit and vegetable processing, acquired a new, modern equipment for canning - autoclaves, duplicators and sealers and employed a highly qualified specialists for fruit and vegetables.
Photo: products from the time of warm processing of peppers "bell peppers"; vegetable warm processing in early 1960s
An agreement was signed between Aleva and the Institute for the food industry from Novi Sad to fund research and trial production of seeds of sweet peppers on plots in the estate Krstur. That same year, the processing plant in Ostojic, a part of Aleva, was closed.It continued to work as a buying station for peppers.
Photos: The first attempt of mechanical planting of peppers in late 50s; The first attempt at growing sweet peppers – nursery garden
Owing to the new kiln, and especially first-used, new varieties of sweet peppers, peppers had no longer to be strung and split, which significantly accelerated the production and cut its costs. The outstanding business results of Aleva had leaked out and many delegations of experts came to the factory to personally witness its success. They showed special interest in processing vegetables. The capacity was extended by acquiring new, cutting-edge machines – for processing cherries - from Italy and the Netherlands machines for processing green beans.
Photo: the tunnel kiln in the early 60s.
The first automatic machine for packing paprika was installed. Its capacity of 45 bags in one minute replaced 20 workers per shift.
Photo: The first machine for packing paprika
An investment plan was drawn for modern conveyor driers which began operating in November next year. Their introduction completely automated the processing and drying of peppers. With 4 new kilns and 10 of the existing , the processing capacity was increased to 15 wagons of raw material for 24 hours . At the end of the year a joint enterprise of "Horgosko-Knezevacka industrija paprike - Kanjiza" was established, based in Kanjiza, whose members were Vitamin and Aleva.
Photo: the conveyor drier
This was the start of a new, important chapter in the development of Aleva. The leadership with vision, along with the professionals and enthusiasts in the development sector, started the production of dehydrated products according to their own recipes. They were the food supplement category products of vegetables and spices. The first to be presented to consumers was Seasoning for fish soup made according to the Tisa and Danube fishermen’s recipe .
The commercial name of these powder products was "Agi". They were named after a fellow citizen, beautiful Caki Agi, whose image was on the bags of paprika.
Photo: Caki Agi; Agi logo, in use from 1971-1974
The recipes for two more products were developed: the Seasoning for beef stew and the Tomato soup.
Photo: current appearance of the first Aleva’s products
The production of universal food seasoning - Kulinat Classic started. In the same year, the process of coffee production was completed - by purchasing modern packaging machines , Aleva became a veritable factory for coffee roasting and packaging.
The export to the Soviet Union commenced, as well as the production of puddings, ice desserts and dessert supplements and seasoning for baking.
Despite the unfavorable economic conditions, Aleva in those years achieved very significant results: it was one of the largest manufacturers in the food industry in the former Yugoslavia, with 600 wagons of processed peppers, 200 wagons of onions, 80 wagons of parsnip and parsley and an annual turnover of 210 wagons on domestic and foreign market.
Photo: the assortment of ice cream today
The Vojvodina Chamber of Commerce allocated a significant recognition to Aleva – the May Day Award for successful business. The capacity expansion continued, the old production halls were upgraded and the new ones errected, buying of new equipment necessary for the implementation of production plans set by Aleva and its leadership .
The purchase of 4 cutting-edge Japanese machines introduced mechanical cleaning of onions, which was yet another pioneering venture in the former Yugoslavia.
Photo: the machine for cleaning of onions
The Company’s referendum decision was made on the separation of Aleva and Vitamin.
The introduction of quality assurance standards JUS ISO 9002 started. The product asrotiman was constantly expanding with new soups(beef clear broth with meat granules, chicken soup with meat granules, etc.), cappuccino in two flavors, tea. All products were created in Aleva, according to its own recipes.
Photo: The range of family soups today
Aleva went through an ownership transformation and became a part of the Flory trading group , within which there was a company Flory from Krusevac. They positioned baby food on the market under the brand Baby King. This was a unique example of privatization of companies in Serbia, where after conducted privatization the owners intensively invested in the development of the company through human resources, modernization of production facilities and the strengthening of its own brands. Then a new, more modern image was traced, with a complete redesign of all products, and concurrently, the sales portfolio was increased by creating of new products.
The production of Kulinata finesse started, a unique product on the Serbian market at the moment - the universal seasoning without additives, made according to the original recipe as other products of Aleva.
Aleva launched a line of instant soups (no cooking) Quik and instantly became the market leader. The product became very well accepted by the students, employees and the elderly who do not have much time or conditions to cook.
Aleva won many awards at events in the country. In addition, in 2010 they received a significant recognition at the 17th International Fair PRODEXPO, held in Moscow, the award for the quality of products in the category of universal spices. This award for the quality of universal spices Kulinat Classic and Kulinat, Aleva won in the competition between 1200 producers from 200 countries.
On 11 of April. a new product line was formally launched , Aleva Natur , combined of the spices , grown traditionally and with great care, a mixture of the specific taste and aroma. Aleva Natur products are free of additives with only natural flavors and as such are intended for all who want to enjoy a delicious and healthy meal. On that occasion Aleva’s Pledge to Consumers was released.
That same year the production of Premium pudding lines with natural colors and flavors started. Four products were created, each having a combination of two flavors.
For summer days, three instant Premium ice desserts were created. The flavors holders are complex, multi-component ingredients. Contemporary designed packaging enticed consumers throughout the year.
The extended range of food seasoning products, which now allow the preparation of top culinary specialties at home -the hunting steaks and chicken stew seasonings.
Not neglecting the youngest, Aleva created Zoop soup with vegetables, spices and pasta in the form of animals , to make the children’s meal fun and nutritionally satisfying.
Without doubt, this was the year of soups – the Premium segment was extended with the prestigious ranking soups that have earned their status with their quality and recipe. The new packaging , the product’s name have also contributed to their standing out within their segment ( the mountain soup, spring soup, stew)
The line of the existing range of teas was redesigned and supplemented with 6 new sorts of herbal and green tea, enriched with ingredients giving the product a specific flavor.
The Vojvodina Chamber of Commerce awarded the President of the company, Mr. Hristivoj Milosevic, Award "Negovanje pobednickog duha" (Nurturing a winning spirit ) for significant economic achievements in 2015.
The range of plain spices expanded with new spices from different parts of the world, where they had been used in ancient cultures. Ginger, turmeric and chili, in addition to giving the food flavor, have always been used in folk medicine. In December of 2016 , Aleva was selected , together with other 15 companies and organizations from Serbia, to participate in the Festival of of cultural heritage '' Sheikh al Zayed '', within the Serbian pavilion under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Serbia.