The Organic Farming Unit is one of the youngest sections within the Department of Agriculture. It was set up in October 2003, after recommendations by two Italian experts on Organic Farming, Dr Damiano Petruzzella and Dr Vincenzo Verrastro, from the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari. They were commissioned to carry out a study on the situation and future of Organic Farming in Malta, through a Framework contract within the 2002 National Program for Malta.
One of the outcomes of this study was the Organic Faming Unit itself. Its task was to organise the Maltese organic farming sector and promote the subject. Below is a list of some of the tasks of the organic farming unit:
To promote and increase awareness of organic farming in the Maltese Islands.
To create a set-up where organic farming can become feasible. Introduce legislation which will allow certification in the Maltese Islands for the first time.
To deal with the European Commission, in particular fulfilments expected by the community regulation 2092/91.
To supervise the inspection and certification bodies.
Controlling importation of organic products from third countries.
To grow an experimental plot of land with organic products