Migrant entrepreneurs in the ‘Farm of Europe’: the role of transnational structures

Ignacio Fradejas-García*, José Luis Molina, Miranda J. Lubbers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The so-called ‘sea of plastic’ in Almería, Spain, is a 450km2 area devoted to intensive greenhouse farming managed by 10,000 small farmers who employ a labour force of 50,000 workers, mostly immigrants from Africa and eastern Europe. Romanian immigrants arrived at the beginning of 2000s and have occupied various positions within this agro-industrial district. Some started their own businesses in greenhouse reparation and construction employing fellow Romanians. They seized the market, providing more stable jobs through their transnational networks, and extending their businesses nationally and internationally. This paper analyses the global processes ‘from below’ that explain the occupation of specific economic spaces by transnational migrant entrepreneurs. Based on ethnographic fieldwork and social network analysis, the paper shows how the seasonal mobilization of a workforce through a transnational social field connecting Romania and Spain provided a competitive advantage to these entrepreneurs to start investing in their ventures and acquiring new markets.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
Early online dateMar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2023


  • agro-industrial district
  • globalization from below
  • greenhouse farming
  • informality
  • migration
  • Transnational entrepreneurship


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