The Malta Independent on Sunday
InCampagna Malta collaborates with Maltese growers who practise chemical-free farming
InCampagna Malta recently introduced InCampagna Rete, Sicily which is collaborating with Maltese farmers who are either certified organic or are in conversion to promote the consumption of sustainable and seasonal produce which is chemical-free.
InCampagna Malta is an online platform where customers can buy certified-organic fruit, vegetables and a variety of products, and other artisan food which is guaranteed to be chemical free. The online shop is closed for summer and will be back in operation in September.
In the meantime, InCampagna Malta is collaborating with Maltese farmers who are either already certified organic or are in conversion. So far, the network includes the certified-organic Majjistral Eco Farm in Manikata and two other farms which are in conversion: Vincent’s Eco Farm in Mgarr and Paul Galea of Bahrija.
“InCampagna Malta has always been very respectful and grateful for the work carried out by Maltese producers who practise sustainable and environment-friendly farming,” says InCampagna representative Franco Battaglia. “In fact, when InCampagna was introduced in Malta, it was never meant to compete with the local farmers, but to fill in the gap left by the limited volumes of pesticide-free Maltese produce. The demand for pure and literally natural food increased exponentially as consumers become more conscious of the effects chemicals in the soil and sprayed crops have on their health, which are proven to lead to a number of allergies and illnesses.”
Apart from the personal service offered, InCampagna gained consumers’ trust thanks to its transparent certification and information on the origin and traceability of each food item.
“This is InCampagna’s ethic, which gives people the peace of mind that they’re getting what they’re paying for. Every single item can be traced to its producer; certification is by all means important, but consumers are best served when they are equipped with the information of the origin and traceability of the produce, where it has been certified if it is and how reliable the controlling body is to ensure that best practices have been applied where the produce was grown at source,” said Mr Battaglia.
Even with the Maltese produce, consumers will know from which farm every item was produced.
Majjistral’s Eco Farm’s owner, Joe Sciberras, who also forms part of the Malta Organic Agriculture Movement (MOAM), said this kind of cooperation is very healthy for the Maltese consumer and is also looking forward to exchanges with InCampagna’s producers to keep updated with technologies adopted in a similar climate on a land which faces more or less the same challenges.
“We are glad that InCampagna is supporting Maltese farmers by collaborating with them to sell their produce – fruit of very labour-intensive work and high expenses,” said Mr Sciberras. “This is what eating organically means literally – at zero-kilometre and seasonal, being thankful of what nature offers, rather than wasting what grows naturally to satisfy fads to eat anything, from anywhere at any time of the year.
“The more people understand the importance of living life as it should be, the more they become likely to buy chemical-free produce, which in turn will encourage farmers to go back to basic agriculture which will not only benefit people’s health but also Malta’s environment.”
The same opinion was expressed by Gloria Camilleri who runs Vincent’s Eco Farm, fondly named after her late father. “Our land has been in conversion and free of any chemical or artificial fertilisers in the soil, and pesticides on the crop for a number of years now. The investment in this initiative is huge, but we keep positive thanks to the rewarding feedback from consumers. These people are prepared to undo certain habits, that is giving up on the illusion of having every kind of fruit and vegetables at all times of the year in a Mediterranean climate like Malta and instead embrace what nature provides in the season rather than making exotic fare a staple in our diet. Nature is not stupid and it surely was made in a way to sustain us without needing to resort to what is unnatural in a Mediterranean climate.”
Those who are interested to receive home-delivered produce (which does not fall under the InCampagna certification) can look out for updates on the InCampagna Facebook page InCampagna Malta. One can also send a private message on 7930 5590 or email on: email@example.com. Pick-up points are also available at Hames Sensi in Fgura, Shanti Health Shop in Mosta and Soap Café in Sliema.