During the early years of the twentieth century, the Prà area was populated by hundreds of small farmers, also dedicated to livestock, who went to Genoa every day to sell the products of the fields and freshly milked milk to their customers.
Therefore, the Unione Agricola Genovese (Genoese Agricultural Union) was established in 1919 with the initial aim of expanding and organizing the sale and delivery of milk in the city. The Union has been a great success since the early days and allows the members to increase the number of customers considerably, favouring new activities for the cooperative with collective purchases for livestock and the so-called “mutual bestiame” (mutual livestock): a protection that ensured the farmer’s availability of a replacement animal in the event of its death, corresponding to the latter a payment of “three legs” of the dead animal and leaving the farmer to cover the price of “one leg”.
Thanks to a strong increase in production, the supply needs increased: the cooperative therefore engages in the search of “out-of-area” resources, and then opens the agricultural material shop attached to the headquarters (still active today) for the sale of seeds, agricultural machinery and means of production, with a not indifferent qualitative result.
After the war, the Unione Agricola Genovese (Genoese Agricultural Union) was the protagonist of one of the first historical collective experiences for the improvement of quality in agriculture, joining the club of the 3Ps (Provare, Produrre e Progredire – Try, Produce, Progress): these were very popular monthly lessons of agronomists and experts of the Agricultural Inspectorate, which led to an increase in skills; this technical background has come down to today and thanks to this the Prà area has become known for the quality first of the best garden products of the season and then for the production of basil in greenhouses since the 1980s.
Today the cooperative brings together about 80 member companies located in Genova Prà and Mele, dedicated to the production of seasonal vegetables which for the most part also include the production of basil bouquets for the local market.