Before we proceed with the procedure to obtain AGMARK certification in India, it is necessary to gain some knowledge about AGMARK, what does it mean, what is its purpose, who need Agmark registration, and most importantly how to apply for Agmark certification.
Be it any country or region, food is the basic commodity and an essential part of our lives. Without food, we can’t think of life on this planet. Now, when it comes to buying food, its quality matters a lot. As a consumer, sometimes it becomes difficult to determine the quality of a packed food product. To help bring ease in this, the government has launched various certifications and AGMARK is one of them.
Since agricultural products are bought in high quantities, therefore, there should be a proper system in place to determine its quality. AGMARK certification is meant to help consumers determine the overall quality of all agricultural products being sold in the market.
Purpose of Agmark certification
The Agmark certification acts has been designed to act as a quality standard and is equal to assuring for the genuineness of the agricultural products. The management of Agmark is done under the provisions of Agricultural Produce (Grading and Marking) Act, 1937 (as stated in 1986). Agmark Standards, at present, include nearly 222 agricultural items, including pulses, cereals, vegetable oil, and other semi-processed items. The standards defined under Agmark distinguish different types of quality, and 2-3 grades are recommended for each commodity.
Though the AGMARK certification is completely voluntary, the concerned Authority can be made mandatory according to the Food Safety and Standards Prohibition and Restriction on Sales regulations of 2011.
What criteria must be met to be eligible for Agmark in India?
If you want to apply for Agmark registration in India, below is the eligibility criteria that needs to be met during the application.
- The applicant must be an Indian citizen or a Registered business
- The application must carry a working email ID and a mobile number for communication purpose
- The applicant should have a registered office or business setup.
- The AGMARK license applicant mut need to have a well-kept laboratory. The lab should feature all the necessary facilities along with the equipment to test the products.
- The AGMARK food product applicant must have a Quality Control System in place.
- The AGMARK-certified products applicant must abide by the regulations of the Agricultural Produce Grading and Marking Act of 1937.
- A Duly certified test report from Agmark recognized Lab.
- Name of the Applicant.
- Name of the Business or the Company
- Address of the Business or the Company
- Total gross production in kilograms for last year.
- Turnover of last year of the company
- Product sample should also be submitted in small packets.
- Products Name for which the company is looking for Agmark standardization.
A Roadmap to Agmark Registration
- To apply for Agmark registration, the application can visit the website - https://dmi.gov.in or visit the nearest office of the Directorate of Marketing and Inspection (DMI) to get the prescribed application form. This Form -A defines the application for the discharge of Certificate of Authorisation for Grading and Marking of commodities for the local market.
- All the necessary documents must be attached and enclosed with the applicable application charges give the exact nature of the agricultural commodity for which Agmark certification is being sought. The registration cost needs to be deposited in the form of demand draft, and the exact fee will rely on various independent variable factors as stated in the forms and its annexures which may include processing charges, grading charges, etc. to name a few
- Once the eligibility criteria are met like the grading of the agricultural commodity is done in a certified laboratory, the applicant can submit an application in the office of the DMI for grant of Certificate of Authorisation, which is usually released after the verification process is complete which takes about 30-40 days.
- The details of the approved laboratory where the applicant has been given access and the authorization letter of the laboratory approved under Agmark must also be furnished along with the Form A-3.
- Before the packing of the commodity in containers, the testing of the raw material and the processed commodity will be carried out by an approved Chemist.
- Timely checks will be carried out by the field officers of the DMI with respect to the commodity graded and certified by comparing samples from the packer’s location with those in the market.
- The renewal of the Certificate of Authorisation can be done at the charge of Rs. 5000 in Form A-4.
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