More than 400 people attended the cooperative`s centenary celebration.
An emotional event that acknowledged the members efforts of one of the largest and most historic extra-virgin olive oil cooperatives in the region, with Les Garrigues Designation of Origin, which currently has 140 members and an annual harvest of more than 3 million kg of olives.
This Saturday on 29 June, almost 500 people met at Juncosa to celebrate 100 years of the San Isidro Agricultural Cooperative and Juncosa Credit Section foundation.
The celebration has been recognition of 100 years of history, previous and current members who, through a great deal of sacrifice, solidarity and togetherness have been able to get over difficult times, to adapt in order to meet the needs at all times.
During this act the Sindicat de Juncosa (1919-2019). 100 anys de la economía d’un poble, was presented. An exhaustive research work, coordinated by Josep Preixens, which includes the history of the Syndicate founded in 1919 by a group of local villagers who join together for a common goal: The Syndicate, since its foundation “has become the economic engine of the area as well as binding together the various ideologies of their members” explained Preixens, “each collaborated as much as they could All working together and forgetting personal interests, for the common good, managed to achieve their goals. Today they would be proud of seeing their Syndicates celebrate their foundation’s centenary”.
Albert Guiu, chairman of the cooperative, has also highlighted the solidarity and hard work of the first associates, “Our forefathers were sufficiently brave and associated to defend their interests. We can now imagine how hard it was that time to come together and face up to this change” the chairman added, “Recently the Cooperative’s members have again proven their worth by approving the construction of the new mill, of which we are all very proud. The celebration of the centenary is also a time to reflect on where we are and where we want to be”.
In the first year of the cooperative 461,000 kg of olives were harvested. A hundred years later, and after 27 chairmen and their respective boards, a record harvest of more than 3 million kg of olives were harvested. In recent years the cooperative’s members have been making great efforts implementing irrigation on their farms, which allows an increase and stabilisation of production, which along with a strong commitment to quality, innovation and information broadcasting is opening new doors and markets for product sales.
With the increase in almond production, the cooperative is also advancing in the dried fruit section, and has already started construction of a new almond reception centre, with peelers, dryers and a storage unit.
‘After going to work on the farms every day, profits should be in line with all the hard work and investment made throughout the year”, the chairman stated, “recently we are making a strong commitment towards the retail of our oil, looking at the current clients, while attempting to create attention for our brand Les Cabanes with a larger audience, who know how to appreciate quality and honesty of our products. This would not be possible without the conviction of knowing we are doing our job properly”.
All this hard work has been recognised by international experts, winning eight international awards in the last two years at some of the most prestigious extra-virgin olive oil events throughout the world: Paris, London, New York, Japan and China, who consider the Juncosa Cooperative olive oil as some of the best in the world.
The act concluded with the presentation of the video created to commemorate the cooperative centenary, which highlighted the beauty of the Garriguenses land and the new mill oil production system, along with the new “The essence of the land at home” advert, which will shortly be released.
At the event, in which the Territory and Sustainability Director Mr. Damià Calvet; the acting chairperson in functions of the Lleida Regional Government, Mrs. Rosa Maria Perelló; the Mayor of Juncosa, Mr. Lluís Dalmau;and the Government Delegate, Mr. Ramon Farré were present; as well as Mr. Ramon Sarroca, Chairman of the Catalonia Agricultural Cooperatives Federation; M. Josep Boqué, Chairman of the Credit Sections Association; and Mr. Enric Dalmau, Chairman of the DOP Garrigues, as well as members and friends of the cooperative, which culminated in a luncheon for all those present along with a concert by the local rock group Quina Barra.
Bienvenida de las autoridades y visita al molino de la cooperativa
Welcome from the authorities and visit to the cooperative mill
Signing of the book of honor of the cooperative and of the book of honor of the Juncosa City Council
Centennial act of the Juncosa Cooperative
Popular food with live music