More than 110 years of existence
The savings bank in Ribnica was established in 1888, but the Cooperative Ribnica has chosen 1909 as the year of its formation indicating the foundation of the first stockbreeding Cooperative in Sodražica. The main initiator of the foundation of Cooperative in Sodražica was Bartol Franc, the mayor of Sodražica, regional representative and the first president of the Cooperative with the goal to incorporate and connect small farmers. That period also saw the start of organized selection work in the field of stockbreeding that was a foundation of agriculture adjusted to the natural characteristics of Ribnica area.
Some important milestones in the history of Agriculture and Forestry Cooperative Ribnica:
- 1909; Stockbreeders receive first 10 grey/brown breed of cows from Switzerland for breeding. Farmers from Ribnica establish Stock and Pig Breeding Cooperative.
- First stockbreeding display took place already in 1911, followed by others in 1936, 1955, 1964, 1970, 1977, and 1984.
- In 1920, the first pasture of 20 heifers was organized in the Cooperative pastureland with the financial help of the government
- In 1932, the Cooperative Ribnica is renamed into Stockbreeding Selection Cooperative
- In 1954-1956, two Houses of Cooperatives are built in Sodražica and Ribnica.
- From 1958 – 1984 the Cooperative is managed by Benčina Jože.
- In 1960s, the agricultural machinery fleet grows into a strong transport business with own trucks.
- Organization of various buying-in activities: milk, fattened cattle and pure-bred breeding animals, pigs, wooden products – package, small woodenware products, timber and pinewood (production of essential oils) and organization of retail stores.
- Integration of Loški Potok Cooperative to Ribnica Cooperative in 1974
- Until 1975 the Cooperative has its own agricultural production and plant nursery in the Ugar estate as well as strong service with agricultural mechanization and mechanic workshop.
- In 1970s, the cooperation with the processing industry and trade within the scope of Ljubljanske Mlekarne under the name SOZD KIT – Agriculture Cooperative Ribnica and foundation of savings and credit service
- In 1984, celebrating 75 years of its existence, the function of Cooperative director is taken over by Pirc Miroslav
- In 1985 the Cooperative is integrated into Mercator
- More emphasis to organization of production and marketing of woodenware – “Suha Roba”
- Exclusion of selection and promotional service in 1991 (now advisory service)
- The Cooperatives Act in 1992 causes the transformation of Ribnica Cooperative that now encompasses also forestry activities
- Redecoration of the Izbira store in 1996 and technical store in Sodražica two years later
- “Suha roba” unit is moved to new premises in 2003
- The Kmetovalec store in Kočevje is taken over from MDK in 2005
- Renovation of the House Coopertives on Škrabčev trg in Ribnica in 2006
- Renovation of stores Zadružnik in 2008 and Kmetovalec in 2011