Xara Lodge

The Xara Lodge has partnered with immici Microfarms to produce sustainable fine foods at Location – One at The Xara Lodge in Rabat, a project that uses aquaponics to produce healthy foods that are fully sustainable, without the use of artificial chemicals.

Commenting on the partnership, Justin Zammit Tabona, Managing Director at The Xara Palace, says “In that first meeting it immediately occurred to me that our vision and goals were perfectly aligned.”

Justin Zammit Tabona
Justin Zammit Tabona / Whoswho.mt

“I found the project innovative and well thought-out. My partnership with immici Microfarms will allow us, as a provider of world-class gastronomy and hospitality in Malta, to implement the future of sustainable finer food,” he explains. “We will make healthy, pesticide-free produce available to all – without a premium price. This project will soon showcase innovation and sustainability action in Malta on the world stage.”

Mr Zammit Tabona was approached by Michael Bourne, founder of immici Microfarms, who visited the Managing Director and Head Chef, Kevin Bonello, at their Michelin-starred de Mondion Restaurant within The Xara Palace – Relais & Châteaux, to become ‘Friends of immici’ as part of a crowdfunding campaign.

The Location – One project will be installed on the rooftop or terrace of The Xara Lodge, providing a testing ground for fully circular micro-farming based on aquaponics and multitrophic culture.

“We will ensure our seafood habitats produce wild-ocean-grade quality, without taking anything from the oceans, since we will use organic kitchen waste from the Lodge itself to produce fish feed via hygienic insect larvae,” says Mr Bourne.

The immici food cycle

Explaining how it will work, Mr Bourne says this process locks carbon dioxide into the food chain, eliminates methane from rotting food, and keeps both out of the atmosphere. It also protects the Earth’s oxygen balance, eliminating the need for ocean-fishing to make fish feed and seafood. “We can do it on land and leave the oceans alone.”

“It is essential that humans become sustainable, now, and we have the technology to do it. Ultimately, the winners are all of us, and all other life that shares our planet,” adds Mr Bourne. “With continuous development, Location – One will set the precedent for the distribution of other microfarms across Malta and Gozo, before expanding the model further afield.”

The collaboration follows the launch of a crowdfunding campaign on ZAAR, whose mission is to support the launch of businesses like immici, which promote sustainability and social enterprise, says Matthew Caruana, Manager at ZAAR.

“The benefits of crowdfunding for projects such as these extend far beyond money. When done correctly, crowdfunding can be an effective tool to promote an idea and take it to market. A successful campaign involves PR and marketing activities as well as networking with other entrepreneurs – and Michael Bourne’s partnership with Justin Zammit Tabona is testament to the power of that process.”

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