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Bhutanese private companies awarded food safety license

A brewery and consumer goods company receives recognition that grants them access to international market

The Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) awarded Food Safety License to two Bhutanese private companies, which will now allow them to sell their products outside Bhutan.

Zimdra Food Private Limited in Phuentsholing and Namgay Artisanal Beverages in Paro were awarded the license in recognition of its compliance with the food safety regulations of BAFRA. This is the first time ever BAFRA has awarded the license to companies in Bhutan.

Zimdra Food Private Limited that produces juices of various flavors, fruit drinks and liquid milk, is an ISO 22,000:2005 and ISO 9001:2015 certified company in Integrated Management System (IMS). It is the only food company in the country to receive such certification.

According to the company’s deputy manager of quality control, Jaydeep Dutta, the license will now open the door for international recognition of its products.

“With this recognition, we can now compete in the international market with reputed companies as well as increase our profits,” said Jaydeep Dutta.

Jaydeep Dutta also attributed the recognition to the company’s well-maintained procedures of manufacturing the products from the start to end. “Our product is consumed by the people and we never take it for granted; because of this we received the certificate,” said Jaydeep Dutta.

He added that other necessary requirements for the certification include infrastructures, manufacturing process, food handling and quality management.

Namgay Artisanal Beverages, a company that produces beer was established last year. It is the only company in the country that produces six different flavored beers.

The company’s brewer, Swapnil Deore, said the recognition would help the company explore markets outside Bhutan.  Although the company has no ISO certification, Swapnil Deore said the license would help the company apply for an ISO certification in the future.

According to Swapnil Deore, the company plans to export the products to Indian cities such as Kolkatta and Assam and gradually move on to Korea and other Asian countries.

“With this certificate, we hope to get more customers,” he added. It took six months of inspection by BAFRA for Namgay Artisanal Beverages to be awarded the license.

Krishna Ghalley from Phuentsholing