June 28, Thimphu: The Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) organised 6th National Food Quality and Safety Commission (NFQSC) Meeting under the chairmanship of the Hon’ble Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji. The Food Act of Bhutan 2005 mandates the heads of Department of Public Health, Bhutan Chambers of Commerce and Industries, Department of Trade, Office of Attorney General, Department of Livestock and Department of Agriculture, Department of Law and Order and BAFRA to be the members to NFQSC.
Under the Food Act of Bhutan 2005, the NFQSC is an apex body for policy guidance and major decisions relating to Food Safety and Standards of the country.
The 6th NFQSC meeting recommended the use of BAFRA food safety licensing mark on the product labels by the certified food establishments based on Good Hygienic Practice and Good Manufacturing Practices. So far, BAFRA has awarded food safety license to 10 food manufacturing companies across the country.
The NFQSC members were also updated on the accreditation of BAFRA for product certification as per ISO/IEC 17065: Conformity Assessment-Requirements for Bodies Certifying Products, Processes & Services. BAFRA achieved the accreditation in March 2018 assessed by the National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies, India as the Accreditation Body. BAFRA is now competent to carry out the certification of packaged drinking water, packaged natural mineral water and fruit juices. BAFRA is working towards increasing the scope of accreditation in near future.
The main objective of the product certification is to ensure product quality and safety thereby building consumers’ confidence, market access and trade facilitation at the national, regional and international level. The meeting also discussed and guided other issues and challenges impacting the food safety and quality assurance.
Submitted by BAFRA
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