THE TA’ QALI AND BIRGU FARMERS’ MARKETS
The Ta’ Qali and Birgu farmers’ markets provide shoppers throughout the island with the opportunity to buy the most delicious, fresh, in season, locally produced high quality food that is affordable and offers great value.
Buying from a farmers’ market is actually cheaper than buying from hawkers, grocers and supermarkets as the middle man’s fees and other costs are passed onto our customers. The public are increasingly looking for assurance regarding the food chain and safety of the produce they are serving to their families especially in the light of international food fraud scandals. Customers at our markets can be assured of the provenance of each and every item they buy knowing that it has been locally produced.
Visitors to our markets can enjoy the vibrant, colorful and friendly atmosphere of both our markets and can talk directly to the producers. These markets are an exciting, interesting, alternative shopping experience that also includes a coffee/ food stall and seating area.
Come and visit one of our regular markets at Ta’ Qali or at Birgu.
The Farmers’ Market at Ta’ Qali commenced functioning as from October, 2010 and was immediately a success. This market opens at 07.00 am and closed down at approximately 05.00 pm. In this market at Ta’ Qali one can see the harvests of at least 30 farmers.
In August 2013 another Farmers’ Market was opened this time at the Fortini area at Birgu in order to target the population of the South of the Island. The market is composed of 12 farmers and opens only on Saturdays however in the near future the Birgu Farmers’ Market shall be operating also on Tuesdays from 07.00 hrs till noon.
Referring again to the Ta’ Qali Farmers’ Market, it must be said that in it one finds not only the produce of farmers but even of other organizations and producers. Of these one can mention the Organization that promotes rabbit meat, the Pork meat co-operative, the producers of chickens and eggs, the producers of local cheese lets, wines, mushrooms, honey and even flowers. The consumers can also encounter two stalls selling fresh fish and other sea foods from the Fishermen’s’ Co-operative.
All these above-mentioned stalls fall under the full responsibility of the Parliamentary Secretariat for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal rights.
The purpose of both theses farmers’ markets is to give the opportunity to consumers to buy directly from the producers. The produce offered at these markets must invariably be fresh, thus guaranteed to be harvested not more than 24 hours before. The produce passes directly from the producer to the consumer thus eliminating unnecessary expenses and over heads.
Every farmer selling his produce at this market is either a full or part time one, has his land registered with the Ghammieri Farm where he informs its officials how he plans to sow his land every three months, must be registered with the VAT department, must have also undergone with success a Food Handling course. These requisites are aimed to ensure that all produce offered for sale is local. Hence each and every farmer participating in these markets must fill in a form declaring what produce he has brought to sale and what produce was bartered with other farmers.
For all those who have never visited these markets it must be said that parking is not a problem. Furthermore one can even find from where to eat hot meals cooked there and then. Other local foods found include freshly baked bread, pastries and all that the local baker can think of.
The farmers and producers engaged in these markets have elected committees to represent them in monthly meetings held to discuss the amelioration of these markets. These committees also decide what extra activities can be organized during school holidays. These markets open even in public holidays as agricultural produce cannot wait and must be harvested when ready.
Thus for all the above-mentioned reasons we urge you to buy local produce so that the few local remaining farmers can look ahead and have a future.
|BIRGU FARMERS’ MARKET - EVERY TUESDAY AND SATURDAY FROM 07.00 TO 12.00