AGMARK : Agriculture is the most important sector of every nation and is considered the backbone of the economy. Agriculture provides employment to approx. 60% of the population of the country and contributes to the economic development of the nation. Agriculture has endless uses like one of the best uses is that cultivation done in the area of trees helps in protecting the environment. Humanity has progressed significantly, but agriculture has remained vital since its inception.
"No agriculture, no life". Agriculture is a science and art of life preservation; it is the only means to provide the basic requirement for food. However, this area is not free from corruption; in order to make more money, business people have begun to introduce contaminants to foods. To avoid these scams and protect Indian consumers, the Indian Legislature passed an act known as "Agriculture Produce (Grading and Marking) Act in 1937. Agriculture and marketing advisory suggested this certification to the Government of India to protect the local growers from undue exploitations and also want to protect the consumer from being cheated.
AGMARK is a combination of two words AG+MARK; AG stands for Agriculture, and MARK stands for certification, so AGMARK is an Agriculture Mark. AGMARK is the certification mark used in India to ensure the quality of agriculture products. AGMARK Certification is also known as the AGMARK GRADING. It is the government trademark, and the Directorate of Marketing and Inspection (DMI) is the issuing authority of the Licence. AGMARK is a third-party assurance system for agricultural products produced and consumed in India.
Agricultural goods are covered under various grades such as ordinary, fair, good, special etc., and these grades are also known as the AGMARK standards. In AGMARK grading, agriculture products are categorized in terms of chemical composition or quality. It covers approx. 222 agriculture products like vegetable oil, pulses, cereals, semi-processed goods etc.
Except for edible vegetable oils and fat spread, which are required by FSSAI Regulations, 2006, AGMARK certification is voluntary. If anyone meets the specifications, They can go for AGMARK.
Process of AGMARK Registration
The appropriate documentation, as well as the stipulated application fee, must be appended and contained with the application form, depending on the type of commodity for which the application is being made. The registration will vary depending on numerous independent variable elements listed in the forms and annexure, such as grading fees, processing fees, and so on.
Applicant must have proper infrastructure for carrying the process of the products and must also have access to the recognized grading laboratory or have own laboratory. Only if these prerequisites are met, a person can apply to the DMI office for a Certificate of Authorization, which will be provided once the verification process is completed. It takes 30-40 days for verification to be completed.
- End Product Analysis:
Before putting the product in containers, an authorized chemist will conduct a raw material and end product analysis.
- Grant of Licence:
The DMI's field officers will conduct regular inspections on the commodity graded and certified by comparing samples from the packer's premises to those in the market.
DOCUMENT REQUIRED FOR AGMARK LICENCE
- A copy of the test report, which is duly authenticated, from the recognized AGMARK laboratory.
- There should be a Document which is authenticating the establishment of the firm, such as Registration by Company Registrar.
- If the applicant is a company, submit a memorandum of association.
- If the applicant is a partnership firm, then they have to submit their partnership deed, which is a written document containing the rules and regulations of the partnership.
- Name of the products for which the company wants Agmark standardization.
- The name of the applicant should also be mentioned.
- Name of the Firm or the Company.
- Address of the Firm or the Company.
- Product samples should also be submitted in small sachets.
- Total gross product in K.g. for last year.
- Company Turnover of last year.
- Must have the necessary infrastructure.
- Must have access to an recognized laboratory or must have their own laboratory.
- The site and equipment must be hygienic.
- Packing containers must be clean.
- Pasteurizing and cold storage facilities should be available to packers of pasteurised table butter.
- Quality control checks are performed on cream and raw materials to guarantee that no animal or vegetable fat has been added.
- Ghee clarification temperature must never go above 110°C.
- Staff must be well qualified and have appropriate experience.
AGMARK Licence is valid for 5 years. The application can be filed before 3 months of expiry of the certificate.