The National Action Plan for Organic Food is based on a vision to offer consumers high quality, local organic food from farming and aquaculture, whilst driving sustainable income for Maltese and Gozitan producers.
This will result in the diversification of local organic production, more access to organic produce in retail stores and markets to meet rising domestic demand and strengthen ecosystem around the organic food sector in Malta. Malta’s National Action Plan for Organic Food also focuses on promoting organic food production for public health, climate change mitigation and biodiversity protection aims.
In line with the European Commission’s ‘Farm to Fork’ Strategy, the EU has set a target of 25% of its agricultural land being organic by 2030 and while also substantially increasing organic aquaculture by the same year. Malta’s share of organic production should reach 5% of total cultivated area by 2030, up from its current 0.6%. This target is also in cohesion with the national food policy that is currently being developed for Malta and other national strategies that support organic production and consumption.
- Public Consultation
The draft National Action plan for Organic Food was launched by the Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights on the 22nd of March 2023. The public consultation opened to the public on the 3rd of April 2023 until the 12th of May 2023, whereby the draft national action plan along with the background document, the consultation document and the summary document were uploaded on the online portal.
The aim of this public consultation was to gather information and opinions to guide the drafting of the National Action Plan for Organic Food 2023-2030. The public consultation process aimed to collect and collate feedback from the public and relevant stakeholders based on the following objectives:
- Increase the percentage of organic farmland by providing tailored financial support for organic farming conversion and maintenance, incentivising landowners to lease out agricultural land for organic farming and driving organic farming in protected horticulture;
- Support investment in organic production like on-farm and off-farm processing of organic products;
- Provide the know-how for organic production by means of training, mentoring and advisory services;
- Support improved access to resources by facilitating access to plant protection products for organic farming;
- Support organic aquaculture with the aim of encouraging operators to shift to organic production and certification through aid schemes and facilitating the permitting process for operators in organic aquaculture;
- Ensure adequate institutions for organic production by strengthening the role of the Ambassador for Organic and Sustainable Food, assessing the organisational capacity, capability and infrastructure needs of the responsible authorities, reviewing the function of the Organic Farming Advisory Board and investing in advisory, knowledge and information systems for the organic sector;
- Increase the visibility of the organic food market with the aim of establishing dedicated data initiatives to collect, analyse, and disseminate data on the organic food sector;
- Increase consumer awareness of organic food by organising and engaging in promotional activities to increase awareness and demand for organic food, including low-trophic and organic aqua-cultured food;
- Develop short supply chains for organic products by assessing the feasibility of designating ‘bio-districts’ and ‘bio-trails’ through pilot projects, developing channels for the direct selling of organic food, facilitating access to local organic products by the HoReCa industry; and
- Improve the marketing power of organic producers by promoting the set-up of organic producers’ organisations.
- Feedback Received
The National Action Plan for Organic Food was updated in accordance with the feedback received by the public and various stakeholders.
The National Action Plan for Organic Food is supplemented by a Background Document which provides background information following the compilation of a large amount of data and acts as an introduction to the National Action Plan for Organic Food, bringing to light current organic production both internationally and locally.
National Action Plan for Organic Food
The European Commission has set a target that by 2030, the EU will have a minimum of 25% organic farming land and that organic aquaculture will be substantially increased. Malta like other EU Member States set its own timelines and targets and developed its own national organic action plan for the period 2023-2030.
Last Updated: 18 September 2023