The Andalusian Marble Business Association celebrates 45 years of service to marble companies.

Since its birth in 1977, 14 presidents have headed this organization, which has played a leading role, together with the companies, in the economic and social development of the region.

Currently, we have achieved the implementation of the Dual Vocational Training, we are working on the restoration of the Sierra de Macael through the circular economy and we are strongly committed to internationalization, innovation, search for distribution channels and brand creation through marketing actions such as the presentation event of the Macael Brand held at MET in New York and the one recently held at the Alhambra in Granada, in addition to the various visits to architecture and design studios, through the program ‘Ambassadors of Marble’, in collaboration with EXTENDA, are carried out annually in the United States.

Family photo of the current Board of Directors (2019-2023)

The Association of Marble Entrepreneurs of Andalusia – AEMA, is celebrating its anniversary. This iconic non-profit organization has dedicated 45 years to the work of representing and defending the interests of companies in the Marble Region, in order to contribute to the generation of wealth and employment. Since its birth, in 1977, AEMA, which has had 14 presidents to date, has been an active part of the industrial reconversion in the region during the first years, has participated in the rise and consolidation of international markets, has created common services companies that made up for the lack of isolation that this area of the interior of the province of Almeria suffered, has gone hand in hand with the companies during the beginnings in promotion and participation in fairs and trade missions, is responsible for the creation of the Macael Awards, the implementation of strategic plans, the fight for the construction of infrastructures that improve the distribution channels and the great commitment to innovation and training, among many other initiatives.

Currently, a very important step has been taken in training through the implementation of Dual Vocational Training in International Trade, Industrial Mechatronics and Natural Stone in the region. In addition, AEMA continues to work tirelessly in the restoration of the Sierra de Macael through the circular economy and, in terms of marketing and commercialization, with the firm objective of taking the marble of the region together with the know-how, to all corners of the planet, is focused on internationalization, innovation, search for distribution channels and brand creation, both as a group ‘Marca Macael’, as well as at the company level. This is the case of the presentation of the Macael Brand at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the event held at the Alhambra in Granada last October, which brought together a large number of international prescriptors of natural stone and the various visits to architecture and design studios that, through the program ‘Ambassadors of Marble’, in collaboration with EXTENDA, are carried out annually in the United States. The joint work of this industry, which has always known how to reinvent itself, has undoubtedly yielded fruitful results. Throughout history, there have not only been great advances in the exploitation of the material, but also in its commercialization and transformation. From being a quarrying center, Macael has become an internationally recognized natural stone processing center. Currently, the sales figure stands at 1,206 million and exports, although they have fallen, alongside sales, during 2020 due to the health crisis caused by Covid19, represent 82.8%. With regard to the evolution of employment, this year, with figures as of January 31, AEMA has 4,545 direct workers, according to data from the General Treasury of the Social Security.


Founded on February 21, 1977, the Andalusian Marble Businessmen’s Association has been characterized by its constant evolution. It has grown from a provincial association (the Provincial Association of Entrepreneurs of Almeria – APEM) to a regional one, and has worked to represent and defend the interests of companies, helping to generate wealth and employment. It has also focused on the task of positioning Macael marble as a leader in the natural stone market in Europe, America, Africa and Asia.

As a consequence of the isolation that this area of the interior of the province of Almeria suffered, common undertakings were created which, without any profit motivation, made up for certain deficiencies. Thus, in January 1979, the company Aire Comprimido Mármol de Macael Sociedad Anónima was incorporated to channel and supply compressed air to the quarries at cost price. The year 1983 was particularly important for AEMA, its companies and the marble industry in general. An ambitious Strategic Plan was undertaken in collaboration with the Institute of Industrial Promotion of Andalusia, Administrations and Trade Unions, which resulted in the total reconversion of the region, both socially and economically. Social canteens were built in the sierra, the right to early retirement of the stonemasons was recognized, the machinery and facilities of the factories were modernized with the latest technology, the most important roads of the sierra were paved and improvements were made to the roads, electrical and telephone services were improved, the Macael Marble School was created, studies of marble reserves in the Sierra de Macael were carried out, promotional campaigns were carried out, and many other necessary actions that contributed to the take-off of the sector.

Two years later, AEMA materializes its promotional work with the creation, in 1985, of the ‘Premios Comarca del Mármol’, currently called ‘Premios Macael’; the most important event for the promotion of natural stone at national level, which this year has celebrated its thirty-fourth edition. At this stage, SUIMASA was created as a supply purchasing center. In 1990, the first steps in internationalization were taken, participating with its own stand in the International Fair of Carrara, Italy, and carrying out a trade mission to the United States.

In 1994, after intense negotiations, mobilizations and continuous meetings with government officials and politicians from all parties, a legislative modification was achieved at national level so that all quarry machinery could use subsidized diesel oil; a fact that benefits the entire natural stone industry in Spain and which came into force in January 1995, the same date on which CESTEMA, a non-profit service company, was created to respond to the requirements of the legal regulations, taking on the management of the quarries. In February of the same year, in response to the continuous demands of the businessmen, the Andalusian Parliament approved the construction of the Andalusian Stone Technological Center in the Olula-Macael axis, which was inaugurated in 2002.

In 1997, the so-called ‘Strategic Plan of Macael’s Productive System’ was presented, with a spectacular result that far exceeded the most optimistic forecasts; the growth of the sector was estimated by the technicians who evaluated the Plan, in the period 1996-2000, at an average rate of 31.9%, while in the same period the construction sector had evolved with a rate of 6.0%. The marble region now becomes a processing industry for all materials.

It was 2002, when this Business Association received the Medal of Andalusia, awarded to AEMA in recognition of the fight for the economic and social development of the area, in its 25 years of life. This same year, another historic event took place: the visit to AEMA’s facilities, factories and quarries of His Royal Highness Felipe de Borbón, Prince of Asturias and Heir to the Crown.

In 2006, the Macael Brand Foundation was established, with the purpose of positioning the companies in the international market. In 2013 the signing of the common position agreement for the protection of the Geographical Indications of Non-Agricultural Products took place and in 2015 AEMA received from the Ministry of Economy of the Junta de Andalucía the 2014 Alas Award for ‘International Trajectory’, promoted the agreement for the restoration of the Patio de Honor of the Castle of Vélez Blanco and intervened in the modification of the requirements of the guarantees for the restoration of the Quarries.

Panoramica Canteras Macael br - The Andalusian Marble Business Association celebrates 45 years of service to marble companies.