April 11th 2024

The San Antón-84 Agrarian Cooperative celebrates its 40th Anniversary

Agraria San Antón, 40th anniversary of the company

Partner of ADIEX, currently has 62 partners, a staff of fifteen permanent workers and is capable of managing up to one hundred and fifty thousand tons of grain

La San Antón Agrarian Cooperative-84 SC of Castilla-La Mancha, associated with our Albacete Importers and Exporters Association (ADIEX), integrated into the Confederation of Employers of Albacete (FEDA), has celebrated its 40th Anniversary. He did so in an institutional event attended by Emiliano García-Page, president of the JCCM, Santiago Cabañero, president of the Provincial Council of Albacete, Julián Martínez Lizán, Minister of Agriculture of the JCCM, Manuel Serrano, mayor of the Albacete City Council , and Antonio Melgarejo, president of the Cooperative, accompanied by other politicians and businessmen.

The cooperative, which has been a member of FEDA since 1987, has thus celebrated its forty years of fruitful professional history since it was founded in 1984 by a group of 10 farmers. Today, four decades later, it has more than 58.000 m2 in the Campollano Business Park in Albacete and has become one of the most important agricultural cooperatives in the region in the cereal sector. The event took place at its headquarters, in the Campollano Industrial Park itself, where, after being welcomed by the authorities, attendees had the opportunity to visit the facilities and learn about how they operate, in a visit that concluded with the tasting of a wine.

The Minister of Agriculture of the JCCM, Julián Martínez Lizán, has stated that it is enough to look at the countryside to be able to “evidence the change that four decades of constant transformation entails in a sector that is very alive, that has always been and that is the guarantor of production. These forty years combine the much and good that agri-food cooperatives mean for our region and for the entire productive sector.” He has also reported that "there are 500 agri-food cooperatives that we have in our region, of many sizes and from many sectors, with a productive capacity for practically all the foods that can be available on the table, which, in addition, also play a very important facet of socioeconomic work, and which in terms of the economy of the region represents no less than 18% of the Gross Domestic Product.” Finally, Martínez Lizán wanted to congratulate Agraria San Antón “for the great social work they do, for being constant in gradual progress, with those analyzes of critical points that you apply in your facilities, for the certifications, for the quality standards that they regulate you, such as 9001 and 14001 and that demonstrate your high level of commitment.”

Agraria San Antón, 40th anniversary of the company

Regarding the forty years that the San Antón Agrarian Cooperative has just completed, the president of the Provincial Council of Albacete, Santiago Cabañero, has expressed his desire to congratulate them “for the work they have been doing for this province during all these years. Four decades creating wealth, creating jobs, providing outlets for our products. We are a province that produces the best foods in the world, foods of the Mediterranean diet. And you are playing that important role so that in an increasingly globalized world these products have a market and can be competitive.” On the other hand, Cabañero, with respect to the sector, also wanted to emphasize that “we are in a province in which more than two thirds of our municipalities have agricultural cooperatives. And today, with the globalization in which we live and in which sizes increasingly matter more, in which right now the markets are no longer in the next town, they are no longer in the next street, and that "They may be on the other side of the world, this type of cooperative systems is necessary so that our products can be competitive in the world."

“Quality is one of our main goals”

The current president of the San Antón Agrarian Cooperative, Antonio Melgarejo, began his speech by remembering “those ten farmers who founded this company with great risk, adventurous in some way because they intended to influence markets that were dominated by multinationals and warehousemen. . They built model facilities that have been renovated and updated, since over the years two of them are still on our governing council.” Melgarejo has reported that currently there are "sixty-two partners, sixty-two companies, with a staff of fifteen permanent workers and we are capable of managing up to one hundred and fifty thousand tons of grain, also having a little impact on the activities."

Regarding the work philosophy they follow, the president stressed that "quality is one of our main goals, especially because our products are for human consumption, both directly and indirectly", which is why he recalled "an important milestone for us, which was the creation, in 2013, of a seed selection warehouse to produce seed certified by the Ministry.” Finally, Melgarejo has focused on the “current situation of uncertainty” that has caused “the displeasure of the rural man”, in reference to the demonstrations and demonstrations that have been taking place in recent weeks. “The impositions that come from Brussels and our administrations, requirements that complicate productive agriculture, such as ours. Many certifications are required of us, many things that are often almost impossible to comply with. Tremendous quality standards are required of our product and our farmers. And I want to ask for a reflection: the farmer is not the enemy of the administrations, and he must be supported by them, both at the regional and national level, in all of his work. Because we create and maintain employment, establish population in the countryside, produce top quality food and comply with and respect the environment because we are the first interested in using those resources sensibly."

Agraria San Antón, 40th anniversary of the company

The mayor of Albacete, Manuel Serrano, also spoke, highlighting the role of the Cooperative in the agricultural sector of the province, since "it has given visibility to all the cooperative members and all the people who have been part of it." Likewise, Serrano explained that “its forty years are a success story, a success certified by official quality marks, but, above all, certified by its prominence in the social and economic life of our great city. It is a symbol, a reflection of a living agricultural sector, more alive than ever and more competitive than ever, which is not content with resigning and complaining and looking to the sky, but is committed to innovation and a job well done. And creating cooperatives like this means promoting synergies, joining efforts and overcoming the isolationism that has traditionally been attributed to rural people. Finally, before concluding his speech, the mayor announced that the City Council is committed to “lowering the IBI on paperback to reach a 21% discount in the next three years, which would reach a figure of one million euros.” in the contribution.”

García-Page: “It is a day to celebrate the clear forward-looking mentality with which they work”

Finally, the president of the JCCM, Emiliano García-Page, spoke, describing himself as “an apostle of the cooperative model, a faithful defender of its concept and model”, stating that cooperatives work “with their good system to avoid the concentration of success and that everything can be shared, when things are going well, but especially when things are difficult.” For this reason, he has emphasized that the San Antón Agrarian Cooperative is an “example, a solvent reference for management, for volume, for the level of balance with which it operates. Today is a day to celebrate those 40 years, to be able to look back, but, above all, to celebrate the clear forward-looking mentality with which they work.”

In relation to the agricultural sector itself, he explained that the Government is “very proud of the importance that agriculture has. Today's countryside has nothing to do with that of forty years ago. We used to produce a lot here, but it always went outside the region and, many times, outside of Spain. But today an enormous agri-food industry has been created, which not only generates employment, but also generates a lot of economic sustainability. Furthermore, this land is above the average industrial rate in Spain. Today the countryside, agriculture and livestock weigh more in this land, in our economy, and we have record levels of income and gross domestic product. And we have convinced ourselves that what we do here we have to transform and extract added value from it. That is the way to go".

Agraria San Antón, 40th anniversary of the company

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