José del Romero (1873-1936), a Barcelona-born commanding officer in the merchant navy, in 1917 acquired an immense estate on the River Ebro Delta, property of the Marquisate of Tamarit, known as Illa del Pantà or Illa de Riu (Marsh Island or River Island).
The salinity of the land on the estate would only allow only for rice cultivation, and with the help of residents from nearby villages, the grounds were converted into paddy fields, which were then rented to smallholders who paid with a proportion of their harvest.
Upon José del Romero’s death, his wife, Montserrat de Sentmenat, who would eventually become known as “The Commandress”, took charge of the estate.
Roberto Trías, the husband of Pilar, one of Montserrat’s daughters, took charge of half of the property and spent over 40 years creating irrigation canals and paths between paddy fields. His son John Trias of Romero, the youngest of nine children, is the current head of the firm which operates SAT Pantar Illa de Riu farm since 1977, finishing the task begun by his father, putting the latest crop barren areas, restructuring the plots, irrigation canals conditioning, upgrading machinery, etc.
With quality and excellence as a fundamental principle at work, the farm Illa de Riu opted in 1987 to become one of the first breeders of seed technology investment and the recruitment of Dr. Jordi Voltas Velasco Agronomy (now Professor Agricultural University of Lleida). Since then and following a thorough selection process, Illa de Riu farm produce seeds of different varieties for their own consumption and trade, among which are: Bahia, Carnaroli and pump. The latter is not commercially available to maintain their exclusivity.
Following the line of quality, given the market circumstances, in 1995 Juan Romero Trias decided to sell the pump variety, offering the market one of the most popular rice varieties of culinary, produced with the highest quality (rigorous selection seeds, consistent and controlled growing ..) prepared on the premises of the Cooperative Montsiá and packing the final product in a dual package that ensures good presentation and preservation.
In the commercial, Juan Romero Trias strives to promote knowledge transfer and rice and its varieties, and the importance of a single varietal marketing towards higher quality and better utilization of their varieties Bomba, Carnaroli and Bahía.