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The Entity′s history


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At the start of the 20th Century, influenced by the Rerum Novarum encyclical letter from Leo XIII, the Catholic Church promoted the creation of workers' associations and circles, the leading exponent of which was the Jesuit Antonio Vicent Dols from Castellon (1837-1912).

The Círculo Católico Obrero was founded in Burriana on 5 December 1883, under the protection of San Vicente Ferrer, following the constitution of other Catholic workers' circles in Vila-real in July of 1881 and Castellón in May of 1882. Leading advocates included the owners Mario Selma, Juan Ferrer and Andrés Peyrat, Dr. Ramón Marchancoses and, particularly, the lawyer and owner Enrique Peris Enrique, who would later be appointed Chairman. Within the Circulo, on 27 November 1904, the Gremio de Labradores de San Isidro was founded, with a view to 'forming guilds or groupings aimed at promoting agriculture, industry, and commerce', with Enrique Peris Enrique appointed chairman.

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El Gremio began its activities on 15 December 1904 with a loan made out to José Vicent Real for the sum of 12,000 pesetas. With these funds, he rented a warehouse, for the amount of 600 pesetas, and started buying and selling guano (fertiliser) to and from members, along with products such as ammonium, potassium, nitrate, and superphosphates.

In light of the imminent enactment of the Agricultural Unions Act in January 1906, the Gremio de Labradores guild was transformed on 25 September 1905 into the Sindicato Agrícola Obrero de Burriana, a union of agricultural workers, once again appointing Enrique Peris Enrique as chairman, who was also the chairman of the Gremio and who had initiated the Circulo twenty-two years previously.

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The Sindicato Agrícola Obrero dealt with material and cooperation matters through the Cooperativa de Consumo founded in 1904, the Caja Rural del Sindicato Agrícola Obrero de Burriana created in 1910, the Cooperativa de Producción Naranjera, the Crops Department of the Sindicato Agrícola Obrero de Burriana set up in 1928 and the Caja Rural del Sindicato Agrícola Obrero founded in 1931. To fulfil its spiritual purposes, it absorbed all the social tasks of the Circulo, its social assembly room, library, and evening classes, becoming one of the most important unions with 1,309 members registered in December 1909.

The Union and its different Departments, following modifications made to its corporate by-laws, and in accordance with the Cooperatives Act of 1942 and subsequent legislation, were turned into the Cooperativa Agrícola San José de Burriana and its Caja Rural de Crédito, approving its regulations on 30 June 1944. Currently, the development of its activity in the Region of Valencia is regulated by the region's legislation governing Cooperatives, the first being the Cooperatives Act 11/1985 passed in the Region of Valencia.

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Hence, the social origins of the Caixa Rural Sant Josep de Burriana, Cooperativa de Crédito Valenciana, as it stands today, date back to the early 20th Century. And over the course of this century, the Cooperative sector, just like everyone in Burriana, has undergone moments of splendour and strong commerce in oranges, as well as its productive, political and social crises, years of emigration, years of boon, the crisis of orange crops, and finally growing urban development in the town.

In this time, in its financial endeavours, Caixa Rural Burriana has been involved in every single one of the large and small projects developed in the town. Providing finance to the Town Council to urbanise the Plaza España and Plaza Chicharro; paving streets such as Cardenal Benlloch, Encarnación and Escorredor; the Port's dredger; the guarantees issued to the Burriana Association of Irrigators to provide the major irrigation channels in Burriana, building the Colegio de la Consolación y Villafátima, the Colegio Salesiano, the plots of land for the Colegio Padre Villalonga, the plots of land on which two secondary schools were built, IES Llombay and IES Jaume I, financing local farming cooperatives, renewing the town's fishing fleet, financing the remodelling of the San Fernando Football Ground, etc.

In terms of its social endeavours, Caixa Rural Burriana has made a decisive contribution to the town's development, allocating major funds to charity, welfare, cultural, and sporting initiatives.