History of the factory



The first steps of industrial production of cooking oil in the Balkans were made in a small town in Vojvodina – Vrbas. A bold merchant by the name of Jakob Lenje constructed the first oil processing workshop on the banks of the Old Channel in this town as far back as in 1855. No one would have imagined that such an unpretentious plant would lay a foundation for a future mighty gigantic industrial facility – VITAL factory. Lenji's factory started its production unrefined oil using manual labour and animal-driven mechanisms. Dominant raw material used included: hemp, pumpkin seeds and oilseed rape. Crude oil did not undergoing refining process in Vrbas as later as until 1929. Instead, it was refined in Budapest where the Lenji family owned a refinery. In the 30s and 40s of the 20 th century, with the founder's grandson, Josif Lenji, at the head of the factory, the first oil factory in the Balkans underwent significant development.

In this period, the production was modernised to a significant extent, new equipment and refinery unit were purchased thus ensuring that the entire cooking oil manufacture is completed in the factory in Vrbas. The first sunflower oil was produced here in 30s of the last century. Ever since, sunflower has been a basic raw material used in production and it practically stands for the company itself. By the end of 50s of the last century, the factory recorded two important events. In 1957, the first margarine production unit in Serbia was completed and commissioned. The workers at the factory produced a total of 90 tonnes of margarine during that first year. The company recorded its fastest growth in the period from 1969 to 1977. In this period, several production facilities were constructed in new locations and brand new state-of- the-art equipment for oil and margarine production was imported.