A new book has been published: “Olive oil and Cooperativism in Western Catalonia”

Ramon Ramon-Muñoz (2023): Oli d’oliva i cooperativisme a la Catalunya de Ponent. La Cooperativa la Granadella, 1920-2022 [Olive oil and Cooperativism in Western Catalonia. La Cooperativa la Granadella, 1920-2022]. Juneda: Editorial Fonoll.

In the early decades of the 20th century, cooperatives, as a form of collective entrepreneurship, and the cooperative movement experienced rapid growth in Western Catalonia. This growth extended to the olive oil sector, a vital component of the region’s economy. Among these emerging cooperatives was the Sindicat Agrícola i Caixa Rural de Sant Antoni Abat, a farmers’ cooperative with its cooperative bank. It was founded in 1920 in the small municipality of la Granadella, home to approximately 2,000 residents in the central-south Catalan County of Garrigues. This cooperative quickly distinguished itself from others involved in olive oil production in Western Catalonia, a distinction it maintains today. The book delves into the origins and journey of this collective institution, offering a valuable case study that enhances our understanding of the relatively underexplored domain of cooperative endeavours in the olive oil sector over the long term. It also serves as a notable example of collective entrepreneurship as a source of resilience. The book provides an exhaustive description of how this cooperative adapted to different historical and institutional contexts and how, when, and why it fostered and sometimes limited innovation processes. It further explores the extent to which it was deeply embedded in a cluster, becoming a source of resilience. Therefore, the book emphasizes the resilience of this cooperative and the factors that have supported its century-long existence within a broader and changing context. In doing so, it sheds light on significant transformations within the olive oil sector from the early 20th century to the present day, underscoring the role that cooperative entrepreneurship has played in these changes. As a result, this book advances our understanding of the cooperative movement and the olive oil sector in Catalonia over the past century, offering valuable insights that may be helpful in the 21st century. Additionally, it provides historical lessons on entrepreneurial management practices.

Further information is available on the publisher’s website.