Navigators Tristão Vaz Teixeira, Bartolomeu Perestrelo and João Gonçalves Zarco then became, with their respective families, the first settlers of the archipelago. This colonisation process began in 1425, by order of King D. João I, with people of modest means, some former prisoners of the Kingdom and a group of people from the lower nobility.
Therefore, during the colonisation process, some crops were introduced that became central to Madeira's history. Such is the case of sugar cane, which quickly brought remarkable economic prosperity to the region. From the 16th century onwards, the archipelago established itself as one of the most famous sugar producers in the world. It should be noted that this product was, at that time, called 'white gold'.