Chhimi Dema

The Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) in the past year certified 13 individual organic farms and one processing unit in the country.

The crops certified in the farms are tomato, strawberry, kiwi, mandarin, cardamom, turmeric, turmeric powder, ginger, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, bean, onion, chilli, and spinach.

Organic certification is a requirement to demonstrate that a product or operation has met the legal standards.

BAFRA as a food safety organisation in the country is identified as a third-party certification body to ensure an impartial organic certification system which is in practice under Bhutan Organic Guarantee System.

An official from BAFRA said that the farms have to fulfil the requirements of Bhutan Organic Standard and BAFRA’s organic certification scheme to get organic certification.

BOS is a system that ensures the production and supply of food and that the food materials are free from unnatural treatments, additives and any synthetic agro-chemicals that are hazardous to hum an health and ecosystem.

BAFRA provides organic third-party certification for primary crop production, processing, handling, storage, and marketing.

Bhutan Turmeric House’s owner, Suraj Ghimiray, said that receiving organic certification gives the company more market access.

The company makes powder products from Black and Yellow turmeric.

An official from the Bhutan Herbal Tea said that the organic certification is beneficial to them because it provides them with the niche they look for during export.

BAFRA officials said that the certification helps to increase consumer confidence as the product has goes through an independent auditing and testing process.

“[The certification also] confirms that products and services meet all trusted national and international standards,” the official said.

BAFRA was accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies, Quality Council of India for organic certification as per the requirement of International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 17065:2012 in September 2021.

ISO is a non-governmental organisation that comprises standards bodies from more than 160 countries.