Facilitating Third-Party Certification of Agro-based CSI Products

19-20 April 2021, Bumthang: A two-day workshop on “Finalization of Scheme of Testing and Inspection (STI) for Cottage and Small Industries (CSI) based food products” was held from 19–20 April 2021 in Bumthang. The workshop was organized by Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) as part of the CSI Flagship Program under the Department of Cottage and Small Industry, Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA).

Relevant CSIs based in Trongsa and Bumthang, Economic Development Officers from Dzongkhags, officials from One Gewog One Product (OGOP), Queen’s Project Office; National Dairy Research and Development Centre (NDRDC), Department of Livestock; National Post Harvest Centre (NPHC), Department of Agriculture and officials from National Food Testing Laboratory, BAFRA field offices and the BAFRA head office participated in the Workshop.

The workshop was organized as part of initiatives towards achieving Domain 5 of CSI Flagship Program: MARKET ACCESS, for agro-based CSI products through standardization, testing and certification. The objective of the Workshop was to finalize the following technical STIs (drafted in November 2020) in consultation with the relevant CSIs, to certify food products as per the National Standards:

  1. Draft Scheme of testing and inspection manual for Buckwheat Flour as per BTS 303:2020
  2. Draft Scheme of testing and inspection manual for Butter as per BTS 299:2020
  3. Draft Scheme of testing and inspection manual for Datshi as per BTS 300: 2020
  4. Draft Scheme of testing and inspection manual for Herbal Tea as per BTS 304:2020
  5. Draft Scheme of testing and inspection manual for Paneer as per BTS 301: 2020 (IS 10484:1983)

The finalized STIs will serve as a basis for the implementation of the Standard by the CSIs for self-monitoring and internal controls. BAFRA will also carry out inspection, testing and certification as per the requirements detailed in the STI following the certification procedures of ISO/IEC 17065:2012 (Conformity assessment — Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services).