What is known nowadays as Azucarera del Guadalfeo, it was a pioneer in the production of cane sugar. It was a prestigious farmer from Granada,
D. Joaquín Agrela y Moreno, who had the idea to install trapiches (sugar mills) to molture the sugar cane from the fertile valleys of Motril and Salobreña.
With the help of his sons, Mr. Agrela brought from England some trapiches at
the beginning of 1860, and after serious difficulties in the initial tests conducted during that year, they managed to start industrial production in the spring of 1861..
As a consequence, the cane plantations proliferated and this industry provided work
and wealth to the zone, that took still more impulse when the island of Cuba was lost. So much, that the Agreda family founded a bank with its name, that greatly contributed to
the development of sugar manufacturing and other local industries. The bank was so influent that it produced paper money with its own name.
Created in 1861 under the denomination of
Azucarera de Salobreña Nuestra Señora del Rosario, in the municipal term of Salobreña, it was
the second factory installed in the fertile valley of Guadalfeo and its location at the place of La Caleta de Salobreña was chosen due to the advantages that it presented for sea commerce.
Between 1928 and 1931 it was accomplished an important modernization of the mills, evaporators and tachas. From 1953 a new section, abandoned nowadays, it was incorporated to produce beet
sugar. It was the first one in the world to use the continuous bagasse diffusion, designed by the firm De Smet from Belgium in 1965. It was
able to work either with sugar cane or beet and it reduced sensibly the sugar lost in the bagasse.
In 1975 the company OLIE S.A. is constituted, and a year later changes
its denomination to the present one, AZUCARERA DEL GUADALFEO S.A., and acquires the factories of Sociedad Azucarera de Salobreña Nuestra Señora del Rosario.
In 1994 acquired 40% of
AZUCARERA MONTERO S.A. located in Lobres, Salobreña, greatly increasing the alcohol manufacturing capacity