The Committee notes that there are certain persons who persistently try to point fingers at the Coeliac Association – Malta when issues arise on the use of vouchers, anything related to benefits and generic coeliac related issues.
The Committee therefore feels that it is necessary to comment and clarify certain untruths or misleading statements.
Administrative, financial and other relationships:
- Coeliac Association – Malta is a non-profit, non-governmental body run by a committee strictly on a voluntary basis and without any form of remuneration.
- Up to the present time, membership in the Association has always been strictly voluntary and restricted to those clinically certified as coeliacs.
- Its income is derived solely from the membership fees received from members annually; furthermore, the Association does not receive any type of financial or any other type of support from any local or foreign association, foundation or business related to gluten free products.
- The Association and its committee members are in no way connected to any local firm, company or individual whose line of business is the importation, wholesale and retail of any form of product used by coeliacs.
- The relationship that the Association has with these individuals or firms is to:
- Seek their support through the occasional donation of relatively small quantities which are raffled during social activities; and
- Offer them the possibility of letting members know of new gluten free products that become available locally.
It is important to highlight that this offer is available to any individual, firm or Company that requests it from the Association.
The Association and benefits received by coeliacs:
- Although the Association was consulted and participated in various meeting with Government Departments in relation to the coeliac community in Malta, this has always been by invitation from the government.
- The only tool that the Association has in dealing with the Government is a detailed knowledge of the needs of those suffering from the condition.
- The Association has always contributed its knowledge, ability and efforts towards assisting and improving the coeliacs’ lives.
However, the Association’s contributions are solely informative and do not bind the Government in any way or manner; this was clearly shown when the Government decided to change over to vouchers and unilaterally decided to cut the benefits down to a dismal amount.
In this respect, the Association will continue to campaign for a fairer amount in vouchers received by coeliacs.
The way forward:
It would be presumptuous to state that the Association has always been right, that it committed no mistake. However, its mistakes have always been genuine ones and, wherever possible, every effort was made to rectify them.
It is also in the best interest of coeliacs that there is constructive criticism since this allows for improvements and a potential enhanced situation. The Association always welcomes this and is always asking its members to contribute comments, ideas whilst informing it of their issues and problems.
The Association, therefore solicits those who are not in possession of all the facts to consult it prior to making statements in its regard. The Association undertakes to provide all necessary information to clarify any situation but will not divulge information which is either confidential or covered by the Data Protection Act.