Achieving leadership in the codex process

20-22 September, Punakha: Around forty participants are attending a three days advocacy workshop on a theme “Achieving leadership in the codex process” at Drubchhu Resort, Lobeysa. Participants include representatives from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan, State Owned Enterprises, World Health Organization and World Food Programme country office are attending the workshop.

The workshop is aimed at strengthening the national Codex programme in Bhutan, addressing the gaps identified using the Codex Diagnostic Tool, increasing the understanding on the importance of Codex standards for consumer protection and fair practices in food trade, and enhancing engagement in international standard setting process among the relevant agencies. It is being facilitated by experts from India, WHO South East Asia Regional Office, New Delhi and FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok.

The opening session was graced by Dr. Tashi Samdup, the Director General for Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA); Dr. Gyanendra Gongal, Regional Advisor for Food Safety, WHO SEARO and Dr. Shridhar Dharmapuri, Senior Food Safety and Nutrition Officer, FAO RAP.

In his inaugural address, the Director General highlighted the important role of the relevant agencies in contributing to the work of Codex at national and international levels to protect plant, animal and human health. Dr. Gongal commended Bhutan for taking proactive initiatives towards improving the food safety situation of Bhutan and reiterated on the importance of benefiting from Codex Trust Fund to better participate and contribute towards Codex works. Dr. Shridhar Dharmapuri emphasized on using the Codex texts to further strengthen the national food control system to achieve food safety and ensure fair practices in trade.

This workshop is a part of Codex Trust Fund (CTF) tripartite project for Bhutan, India and Nepal, with the goal to strengthen the function of National Codex Structures through effective engagement of all stakeholders in Codex activities and standard setting process.

Specialist Promotion

22 July 2021: Dr. Chador Wangdi who was serving as Chief Regulatory Quarantine Officer under Plant and Animal Biosecurity Division (PABD) of Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA), Ministry of Agriculture and Forests got promoted to the post of a Specialist III. He completed his Bachelors in Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharward, Karnataka, India and joined the civil service in January 2005.  He holds a Master Degree in Veterinary Science from James Cook University, Queensland, Australia.

He is one of the youngest civil servants to be promoted to the post of Executive Specialist (ES3) in the Ministry of Agriculture of Forests.

A small Tashi Khadar ceremony was organized by BAFRA on 22 July 2021. The occasion was graced by His Excellency Sanam Lyonpo Yeshey Penjor, Dasho Secretary Rinzin Dorji, MoAF, Heads of Department and other stakeholders.

The MoAF would like to extend our heartfelt Tashi Delek to Dr. Chador Wangdi and wish him the best for his new position.

During the occasion, the Hon’ble Director General, BAFRA also awarded the Tashi Khadar and insignia to other 8 officials of BAFRA from Head Office and Thimphu Dzongkhag.

Director General, BAFRA, with Dr Chador Wangdi (First Row, Second from Left) and other promoted officials

Press Release – World Food Safety Day 2021

Today as the world celebrates the third World Food Safety Day (WFSD) with the theme “Safe food now for a healthy tomorrow” to draw attention and inspire action to promote food safety as every one’s business, BAFRA would like join hands in solidarity with everyone on this 3rd WFSD and emphasize that there can be no health, no nutrition and no food security without food safety. Safe food is essential to human health, nutrition and food security.

BAFRA is pleased to announce that in line with this year’s world food safety day theme, it has launched the following food safety awareness campaign and collaborative events with relevant partners to commemorate the third world food safety day on 7th June 2021:

  1. Partnership with the College of Natural Resources, Royal University of Bhutan

College campuses play an important role in building momentum towards a better and safer food system and youth play an important role in creating awareness on food safety for better community engagement. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Poster.jpg
Poster competition
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-7.png
Video competition

The students of Food Science and Technology are the future employees of the food industries and hence have a critical role in promoting food safety in the food industries. Therefore, BAFRA has collaborated with the CNR Food Science and Technology Program to run an online poster and video competition on the “Importance of codex standards for food trade and consumer protection”. This campaign was launched in the first week of May 2021 via digital platform using Facebook.  

  • Partnership with the Royal Civil Service Commission’s Wellbeing Services Division

National Government are critical for ensuring safe and nutritious food for all and civil servants in Bhutan play an important role as agent of change in their homes, offices and community at large. BAFRA therefore,

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-6.png
Cake cutting ceremony

collaborated with the RCSC’s Wellbeing Services Division to create awareness on food safety in the public sector and foster collaboration among the public health, animal health, agriculture sector including the private sectors. A half-day food safety awareness program was organized jointly by BAFRA and RCSC for the Women’s Hoops for Health Initiative at Chang Basketball Complex on 28 May 2021 to publicize food safety as a key to sustaining life and promoting good health. Food Safety posters, pamphlets and promotional materials were distributed during the event. The outdoor event was jointly graced by the RCSC’s Hon’ble Chairperson Dasho Karma Hamu Dorji and the Director Generals of BAFRA, RCSC and MoLHR.  

Women’s Hoops for Health members 
  • Launching a Food Label Literacy Program with the Word Food Program of the United Nations

To promote safe and nutritious food consumption in Bhutan, BAFRA in collaboration the WFP Country Office Bhutan has launched two series of “Zhego Delek’ articles to educate the Bhutanese consumers on Food Safety, Food Quality and Food Adulteration in the weeks leading to the WFSD 2021. The third series which is a food label literacy video is being rolled out today using digital platform (through MoAF & BAFRA Websites and BAFRA’s Facebook Page) to commemorate the third world food safety day.  The food label literacy video may be accessed at link given below

Food Section, BAFRA, MoAF