Manuel Rui Azinhais Nabeiro is a native of Campo Maior, in the upper Alentejo. He was born into a humble family on 28 March 1931. From an early age he learned to deal with adversity. He began working at the age of 12, helping his mother in a small grocery store. He helped his father and uncles roast coffee at a time when the harmful effects of the Spanish Civil War were being felt.

He started roasting the family’s coffee when he was very young. Rui Nabeiro was just 19 when he took control of Torrefação Camelo , Lda.

Entrepreneurship and a strong work ethic have always been present at the decisive moments of his life.

In 1961 he established Delta Cafés, giving rise to a business group that today leads the coffee market in Portugal and is expanding strongly into international markets. Just a few months after the company was created, Delta coffee was being distributed all over the country, with a commercial warehouse opening in Lisbon in 1963 and another in Porto in 1964.

With his futuristic vision and ambition, he created Novadelta in 1982, then two years later opened the biggest coffee roasting factory on the Iberian Peninsula at that time.

Commander Rui Nabeiro always made the effort to support those around him. With the resources he had available to him at different stages of his life, he supported and continues to contribute to the wellbeing of many.

The Nabeiro Group – Delta Cafés  was born in 1988. Nowadays, the business has more than two dozen companies and is involved directly in such diverse areas as food and drink, property, industry and services, distribution, tourism and catering.


Before 25 April 1974, Rui Nabeiro was twice appointed mayor of Campo Maior (in 1962 and 1972). He was then elected to the position by universal suffrage in 1977 and was re-elected twice, staying in office until 1986.

In recognition of his entrepreneurial abilities, on 9 June 1995 President Mário Soares awarded him the rank of Commander of the Civil Order of Agriculture, Industrial and Commercial Merit, Industrial Class.

On 5 January 2006 he was honoured again, this time as a Commander of the Order of Prince Henry.

He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Évora, where in 2009 he founded the Rui Nabeiro Chair, which promotes educational research and the scientific dissemination of work in the field of biodiversity.

Also in 2009, Commander Rui Nabeiro received one of the highest honours awarded by Spain. By order of the King of Spain, he was awarded a significant title: Commendation of the Order of Isabella the Catholic. The following year he was appointed Honorary Consul of Spain, with jurisdiction in the districts of Castelo Branco, Portalegre, Évora and Beja.

This was followed in 2012 with the award of an Honorary Doctorate in Political Science from the Lusófona University.


Rui Nabeiro is regarded as one of Portugal’s great entrepreneurs, who has achieved remarkable success on the national economic scene. He is also recognised as someone who is serious about humanitarian involvement and social responsibility.

At no time during the expansion of Delta Cafés did Rui Nabeiro ever neglect his deeply-held social views, which has led to his company being classed as a Human Face Company.

Today, more than half a century after the foundation of Delta Cafés, the business group that is now led by Manuel Rui Azinhais Nabeiro employs around 3,800 people and operates all over the world.

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