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Ġbejna saved from extinction

The Maltese ġbejna has been saved from potential extinction by a new legal notice that protects it from EU restrictions on milk products, the Parliamentary Secretariat for Agriculture said.

Until now Malta only had regulations covering the production of milk and not for products made from milk.

However, the latter regulations existed on an EU level and applying them would have meant stopping the production of the traditional Maltese cheeslet, or ġbejna.

A notification for consultation of the legal notice was published yesterday in the government gazette. It incorporated EU law into Maltese law that safeguards traditional products.

This legal notice, applying local derogations that allow traditional ġbejniet to be made so long as they fall under controlled designation-of-origin standards, will be published after the six-week consultation period.

The legal notice imposes that the milk be tested twice a month and stipulates the method that must be used when making, storing and selling the product.

Producers of goat and sheep’s milk must apply so that their product is recognised by the EU and registered under DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) certification.

This means that the product now has guarantees to the benefit of consumers, the parliamentary secretariat said. Products made using different methods will not be able to be sold as traditional ġbejniet.

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