Award: Only one of the 19 products submitted under the traditional category was awarded the Seal of Excellence Certificate yesterday in Thimphu.

A total of 12 products were awarded the Seal of Quality Certificate. Besides the certificates, the winners were also awarded cash prizes.

The selected products will be given promotional support and other marketing incentives while the non-awarded products will be given product development and capacity building support to encourage producers to improve quality and take part in the future events.

Department of Trade organised the award function of Bhutan SEAL Programme, which was attended by the economic affairs minister, Resident Representative of UNDP, senior government officials, handicraft producers and dealers around the country. The products were judged by a panel of 12 judges consisting of both national and international experts on crafts.

The programme is held every alternate year. The certificates that are awarded to the selected products will remain valid for four years after which the product needs to be resubmitted for extension of the validity period.

Bhutan Seal Programme is aimed at establishing quality benchmark for local handicraft products, and aims to encourage artisans and producers to be more innovative and creative while preserving the age old traditional craft skills and knowledge.