In 1979, after delayed discussions, the Cooperativa Agrícola dos Produtores de Sal de Rio Maior was finally defined. It’s objective is to commercialize the cooperative’s salt and to promote supporting actions for them, through the transformation of the brine and it’s profit.
Being a low profit activity, the number of workers interested on the salt production was decreasing each year.
With the constitution of the cooperative society, the placement of the salt in the market, duly packed and part of it crushed, which rendered on the improvement of the product and its price, was successful.
Plus, the cooperative society managed to transform the environmental conditions of the Rio Maior’s Salt Marsh. Brine concentrators extracted from the community well substituted the hillocks where the weeds grew and spoiled the salt.
This cooperative society is engaged in collaboration with the Town Hall and the Direcção do Parque Natural das Serras de Aire e Candeeiros on the development of the tourism at the beautiful Vale Tifónico, where our original and typical salted of the Rock-salt Marsh is placed.
This collaboration allowed the construction of a typical house in the mountain, to support the tourists, and the reconstruction of the houses that gathered the salt, with its curious wooden locks. All these entities work to embellish the public places, recover the old river and maintain the access of the salt transportation to the warehouses. The river that runs through the salted was already partially lined with flagstones and the carters (baratas) were cemented in order to facilitate the transit of the salt-workers and the transport of the salt, besides the contribution to it’s higher hygiene.
The cooperative society has now better conditions to store the salt, in a warehouse constructed in the style of the ancient wooden houses, were it was traditionally stored.
In that warehouse the salt is crushed (partially) and packed to expedition and placement in the market.
In a recent past, almost all the salt-workers were farmers that extrated salt from May to September, being the profit divided by the owner of the basins and the salt-worker.
Now, the cooperative society has employers to do the extraction of the salt in the majority of the basins.
SALT-MARSH GENNERAL CHARACTERISTICS
Number of basins: 470
Medium dimention per basin: 35 a 50 m2
Total surface area: 27.000 m2 (5.000 m2 of concentrators)
Well: 8,95 m deep and 3,75 m de diameter
1 Litre of water = 220g salt (97% sodium chloride)
Annual production: 2000 tons