Tomas Rodriguez Quintana started La Aldea's industrial tomato packaging business in 1950 with the purchase of 168 bushels. In 1966, the company exported 1.7 million kilos of tomatoes to the United Kingdom. Later it started working with aubergines and cucumbers, employing more than 200 families, mostly from Agaete. The company had to build houses to employ so many people to produce food products to supply a large part of the British supermarkets of the post-world war period.
Since then, the Canarian tomato sector's reality has changed. Tomato exports from the archipelago have dropped considerably in the last 20 years, from 305,000 tons to just over 42,000 tons. Now the sector faces new challenges, as the aid to transport has fallen due to Brexit and competition from Morocco is increasing.
As a result, the most powerful tomato family in the Canary Islands has decided to allocate its land to the high spending capacity tourism business. To do so, it has partnered with the Nordic group Kokoon.
The architect of the family, Ignacio Rodriguez Plaza, said the company was changing to generate employment and solve the problem that arises from the decrease in mass tourism to the islands and the reduction of the tomato market in La Aldea de San Nicolas. He said they planned to create 11,000 jobs and that they wouldn't have to build houses for the workers because there were enough houses in the municipality to meet the demand for labor.
Rodriguez Plaza said they would contribute up to 30% of the land to Kokoon La Aldea to launch a long-term hospital with 400 beds, two luxurious 7-star hotels with more than 400 suites, sports venues, and a minimal environmental impact.