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A History of Tradition & Excellence
More than 50 years serving the markets of Spain and Europe
Over a century growing citrus in the fertile lands of Northern Valencia
At the beginning of the 20th century, Laguarda’s family initiated the grow of citrus in the fertile lands of Northern Valencia although the passion for citrus kicked off in the middle of the 19th century with the establishment of a rapidly growing nursery business dedicated to the production and sell of orange trees along the Spanish Mediterranean coast and Northern Africa.
During the 1940s and the following two decades, the next two family generations expanded the grow of citrus, converting dry lands of vineyard and olive trees in the Northern lands of Valencia into fertile orange orchards. 20 hectares of orange Navel were planted in addition to the first hectare of Marsh White Seedless grapefruit.
In 1960s, the family initiates its wholesale business beyond the city of Valencia, creating the FRIOLA brand and selling Marsh White grapefruit in the gross-markets of Madrid and Barcelona. The consumption of grapefruit among the Spanish society was simply symbolic and it took several more decades until this fruit become more popular.
In the early 1980s, Laguarda’s family was a pioneer initiating the grow of Star Ruby grapefruit in Spain. And in the mid 1980s, Laguarda’s family kicked off the export of oranges and grapefruit to the Western European Market, mainly Germany and France. At this time in Spain there was only interest in White Grapefruit while in Europe the trend was changing more rapidly towards the consumption of Red Grapefruit.
During the 1990s, the family owned grapefruit orchards resisted the “tristeza” disease whereas the old navel orange orchards had to be replanted with a wider range of varieties of citrus (star ruby grapefruit, soft-citrus and new varieties of oranges).
Under the 5th generation, the company is nowadays run by Fermin Sr. & Jr. who under the FRIOLA brand continue holding the same passion for continuous improvement and spirit of tradition and excellence from the founder of the saga, Fermin Laguarda Bayarri, transmitted generation after generation since the mid 1800s.