Les Refardes (Catalan word for rebellions) is a non-profit cooperative based in Mura, Catalonia.
It is daily run by Anna, Paula Ernest and Ester, who coordinate the production of local varieties of seeds in 18 farms scattered throughout Catalonia.
Les Refardes’ main objective is to gather farmers, gardeners and consumers around a common will and challenge: supporting the cultural and agronomic evolution of agriculture, towards a better environmental consideration and a sustainable way of production and consumption.
18 seed-producing farms participate to Les Refardes cooperative's work of conservation. Most of them are dedicated to the production of certified organic seed varieties.
Anna, Paula, Ernest and Ester, are responsible for the coordination of the entire producers' network. They control and follow seed production, multiplication, cleaning and selection, as well as germination tests.
Following its commitment for ecological consistency, Les Refardes cooperative produces and sells varieties of seeds that are free from intellectual property rights; that can be reproduce; that participate to enhance biodiversity before complying with economic concerns; and that are not genetically engineered.
Since 2003 the cooperative has been conducting ethno botanical prospecting to make a subsequent agronomic assessment of taste, texture, smell and colour of the seeds produced by its partners.
Before being sold by Les Refardes, new partners' varieties of seeds are tested and evaluated depending on their rusticity, yield, resistance and adaptation to local climate.
The cooperative promotes networking and experience sharing, within the sector and towards the civil society.
It offers trainings for farmers and contributes to outreach consumers via different kind of activities and publications, defending agricultural biodiversity as an urgent need for food sovereignty.
Les Refardes regularly opens its doors to consumers for tasting days, so they can come and try the products made from the cooperative's varieties of seeds. These moments help the cooperative to understand the needs and expectations of its consumers and to adapt its production.
Les Refardes currently holds around 300 local varieties of fruits, vegetables, aromatic herbs, flowers and green fertilizers.
Every season, about 30 new varieties of seeds are incorporated to the collection while some other are removed, for they have been disseminated to a sufficient number of seed reproducers, to ensure their survival and the maintaining of genetic and cultural heritage.
A very large selection of seeds is to sell on the online shop of the organization. It also distributes its products through various points of sale in Spain.
The organization offers different formats of seed packets, for both amateurs and professional farmers.