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Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Department of Integrated Science and Technology
The European Union promotes marketing of quality food products through a quality labelling scheme having three labels known as PDO, PGI and TSG. Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) are two labels that protect products with an association to a particular region. Such products need to have a traditional link with the area as well as unique attributes (known as specifications) that make the product different from the customary. PDO labels designate a product that is linked with an area in every aspect, while PGI labels indicate that the product has a unique geographical link in any phase from its production, processing or preparation. Traditional Speciality Guarantee (TSG) labels are assigned to food products that are produced using a traditional method but can still be reproduced in any other area. Apart from providing consumers with information on their point of origin, EU quality labels are a means to enhance sustainable farming methods and amplify the rural economy. Through a system of certification and uniform enforcement, farmers have the possibility to produce less for more as well as tap value added benefits linked with quality labels. Unfortunately, the concepts of quality labelling and food certification in Malta did not yet take-off. Thus, Malta is missing out on quality food production, consumer satisfaction in buying local food products, increments in the farmers’ pocket, international promotion of local food products and other fringe benefits linked with rural development. This dissertation sheds a light on the prospective of applying EU quality labels to traditional Maltese food products and how such process could be idyllically achieved. From a consumer survey based on 300 respondents, it came out that the majority have never seen a quality label but there is the willingness to pay extra for quality food products. These results were consolidated by opinions gathered through eight interviews with relevant authorities and local producers. Moreover, a study visit linked with this dissertation was held with an Italian certification body in the region of Umbria in Italy. During this week in Perugia, information on quality labels was obtained through interviews as well as by participating in product conformity checks. This dissertation comes to an end by recommending policies that may possibly be adopted so that Maltese products could be able to obtain EU quality labels.
Vella, Eman, "The role of quality labels in farming diversification and rural development" (2010). Masters Theses. 432.