While the Friends of the Earth society started a campaign to encourage Maltese to choose local agricultural products, at the Ta’ Qali farmers’ market we met various consumers seeking fresh fruit and vegetables. We also spoke with farmers – women and men – on the farmers’ hard work and their satisfaction to the trade.
Among the farmers at Saturday’s market we met seller Anna Zahra who recounted her life at the fields where she worked for over 20 years. “Unlimited hours of work, no leave or sick leave…there were times were I met difficulties with small children to sustain the family and bring along a salary”, she said.
Another woman who was brought up in a farmers’ family is Rosanne Chircop Schembri who expressed her delight with selling her father’s produce.
Rosanne said, “they know what they are buying from the farmer, more fresh than this one cannot have because everything was brought yesterday from the field and we are selling it this morning”.
70-year old Joseph Schembri has spent his whole life in the fields, all day long. He complained that the weather is not always kind with farmers. “There is hard work – in order to live with produce, it is hard.”
At the farmer’s market, members of Friends of the Earth encouraged people to seek always fruit and vegetables of local farmers.
Friends of the Earth’s Martin Galea said “we are trying to get consumers and farmers closer together to explain the situation and everyone understands the needs of everybody”.
Mr Galea added that this is part of a campaign that European environmental organisations are doing in an effort to press the European Union to provide more support to farmers and their products.