A recognition of the efforts of the rural sector

"You don't have to look very far for the best, you have it close to home" is the summary that defines the Prades Cooperative, an association that was born 75 years ago to promote agricultural production in the municipality and defend the rights of its producers. With the sale of its flagship products, potatoes and hazelnuts, today it is a benchmark establishment in the region for all kinds of local foods. In addition, the Cooperative organizes many popular activities, such as the Prades Potato Festival, which reached its 30th edition last September.

Founded in 1946, the historical importance at the local level of the Cooperativa Agrícola de Prades is indisputable. The first farmers who joined allowed it to grow little by little until it reached its maximum splendor in the 1960s, with a total of 260 members, which would make it possible to boost the socioeconomic activity of the municipality. Thus, the Cooperative managed to make the leap to consumption –internal for its members– and the marketing of its production.

Currently, the social mass has been reduced to a quarter, but the entity successfully maintains its four agricultural sections (potatoes, hazelnuts, hops and cereals) as well as its commercial activity. The 'Muntanyes de Prades' seal is synonymous with quality and, for several decades, has encompassed the prestige of the IGP Patates de Prades and the recognition of the PDO Avellana de Reus.

For this reason, they decided to collect these 75 years of associationism, as a way of recognizing the older people who worked in its beginnings and to record how the agricultural identity of Prades has been forged.

put it in writing

The book Prades Agricultural Cooperative, 75 years of efforts is the project, developed by the editor and professor at the URV, Antoni Jordà, and the Associació Els Tamborinos, which reviews the evolution of the entity. From the entity, they proposed the idea to the cultural association with the aim of it being "a compilation of how it was formed, when it started, after the inertia of some men who saw that they lacked many means and joined forces," Dalmau describes.

The book has news from the time, archive images, unpublished anecdotes and the testimony of conversations between Jordà and some of its founders, who have been able to receive this tribute even in their nonagenarian stage. However, the president of the Cooperative states that "at least these 75 years are written and can be remembered and explained", although agriculture continues to lose strength.

The work was presented to the public last Friday, October 14, in an act framed in the Autumn Festival, which included the proclamation of Pep Riera and the musical entertainment of Joan Reig.

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