During the first official meeting taking place between the Gozo Artisan Network and the Ministry for Gozo, the Gozo Quality Mark was established.
The Gozo Quality Mark, linked to the Gozitan territory, certifies the level of quality and genuineness of the products made in Gozo.
The Minister for Gozo Clint Camilleri, together with the Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, addressed the first official meeting between the stakeholders of the Gozo Artisan Network, which was established last October.
The Gozo Artisan Network was established through a pilot project within the Destination SMEs Interreg Europe project which started in March 2016 and was completed in June 2021.
During the implementation of this project, the Ministry for Gozo benefited from €200,000 in European funds.
The Gozo Artisan Network brings together artisans resident in Gozo with the aim of bringing these small enterprises together in a collective effort to strengthen their competitiveness and to play a wider role in the tourism sector.
The association will bring together professional and experienced people working in the field of arts and crafts and other artisanal products. It is regularised by a statute which has been approved by the founding members in order to regulate the function and work of the members.
Minister Camilleri said that the products can also be certified by other established labels that guarantee quality. This is so that both the local consumer and the tourist who visits our island can be assured that they are buying a quality product or service and at the same time have good value for money.
“The Ministry for Gozo is committed to continue offering its support so that this network and the Gozo Quality Mark become an integral part of the tourism product that Gozo offers and at the same time the small family businesses continue to improve their operations,” the Minister said.
For his part, Parliamentary Secretary Zrinzo Azzopardi, stressed that this collaboration gave the opportunity to the Ministry for Gozo to benefit from a pilot project through which a quality label was created to give value to Gozitan products and thus put products of Gozo and our country on an international level.
It was also explained that criteria have already been adopted which have been adopted in the statute in order to regulate the applications and certification of products with the Gozo Quality Mark. Where necessary, the association may have the assistance of private experts who understand the crafts and other sectors, and be able to evaluate the products.
The criteria have been established in such a way that the quality label is not linked to the operator or establishment, but to the product or service it offers.
The Minister said that since the establishment of the Gozo Artisan Network, there have been quite a few small entrepreneurs who have shown interest in joining this network.
A call is currently being made for anyone interested in joining this network to attend the first AGM which will be held shortly so that this association can start operating at a national level.
It was also explained that the network and the Gozo Quality Mark, together with their promotion, are a result of the work done during the Destination SMEs Project.
Now that the project has come to an end and the association and the Quality Mark have been established and can function independently, other people who work in this sector in Gozo and who produce quality products are encouraged to join as members and benefit from the support and promotion of an official network.
The members within this association will be able to work and promote their small enterprises as part of the Gozo destination both nationally and internationally.
The Gozo Artisan Network will be operating on an independent basis, chaired by a committee elected by the members. A team of private experts will be assisting the association in processing applications.
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