We think that is important to know where we go but, just as important, is to know where we come from in order to have our feet (and hands) on the ground
Our story begins in the 1950s, when a young boy of just fourteen years old travelled with his family from La Rábita (Granada), his hometown, to the town of Roquetas de Mar (Almería). A journey of little more than 50 kilometres that would change his life.
Perhaps it was the salt flats of Roquetas de Mar, the evocative presence of the Castillo de Santa Ana ruins (which have now been rebuilt), or the uniqueness of the Campo de Dalías region; all we know for sure is that from that very moment, the young Francisco Amat Ayllón fell in love with the place and its people.
In 1960, once Francisco Amat had completed his military service and his family had sold their last remaining possessions in La Rábita, they settled permanently in Almería. During that time, Francisco started to use the farming techniques he had learnt back in La Rábita on some family land in Roquetas. This work would become part of his first business: a grocer’s shop.
After a few years behind the shop counter negotiating with suppliers and selling goods, Francisco was ready to combine his two biggest passions: agriculture and trade. In 1966, a corn exchange was set up where the local farmers would bring their produce to sell. From then on, this corn exchange in Roquetas was the centre of his family’s life, as well as for many other farmers who were growing their business.
Some of these farmers from Almería, like Francisco Iglesias Gallardo and Andrés Romero Durán, went from being clients to friends. This was a friendship that would carry down through the generations and was the beginnings of what is now the produce company “Agrosol Export”.
Francisco Iglesias had worked in the countryside from a very young age. Aware of the effort and hard work needed to grow the best produce, he soon saw the potential for intensive fruit and vegetable farming. Realising that these intensive farms would contribute to the development of Poniente Almeriense, that region of Almería, he decided to save up and invest in land throughout the ‘60s. Over the following decades, with the help of his wife and children, he transformed this land into productive greenhouses, many of which are still used by Agrosol today.
Andrés Romero also started out in the horticulture sector from a young age. Based in Roquetas de Mar, he was a pioneer in constructing the first greenhouses in Poniente Almeriense. Aware of the huge potential that was unfolding, he decided to be an active part of the process. After investing in land, he became an innovative, methodical, and meticulous grower and a benchmark for the agricultural community in Almería.
During the ‘70s, various traders from Roquetas grouped into different societies such as Agrupamar 10. Over the following decades, the farmers grew their businesses by adapting to new farming techniques. Francisco Amat Ayllón, who had bought a warehouse in 1992 to help export his produce, endorsed the union of 8 tradesmen into the SAT COSTA DE ALMERÍA group, which lasted for 3 years.
Produce from the vegetable gardens of Almería is popular far beyond our borders. So much so that in 1998, Glinwell PLC, who are suppliers for Tesco, joined forces with the Amat, Iglesias, and Romero families’ business venture.
In 2000, the first glass greenhouse was built there with the latest heating and CO2 fertilisation technology, much like the Dutch model. This project was run by Glinwell PLC and the current Agrosol Export shareholders, who at the time were part of another commercial structure.
By 2016, Agrosol Export and Glinwell PLC had acquired 31 hectares of land in Retamar, Almería, together with the first glass greenhouse, with the aim of increasing their biological and ecological production according to the new standards of food excellence in place across the UK and the EU.
Agrosol Export was born in 2008 as a produce company based in Almería, as a result of the work of many families growing the highest quality fruit and vegetables for more than 40 years. The company has had a multinational calling from the very beginning, and exportation is such a key element that it makes up part of our name: Agrosol Export.
Our production and sales system adjusts to English import programmes, looking to maximise production months. We achieved this by investing heavily in technology from 2012 – 2016.
Today, 70 years after those first few crops, the latest in technology (integrated pest control, tracking systems, hot water heating systems and CO2 fertilisation) ensures that our fruit and vegetables meet the highest quality standards set across Europe and the UK.
This is our story.
A story that began with a young boy’s journey and that we want to keep writing with you.