Indian Standards Institute now known as Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) is a registered society under a Government of India. BIS main functions include the development of technical standards, product quality and management system certifications and consumer affairs. Founded by Professor P.C. Mahalanobis in Kolkata on 17th December, 1931, the institute gained the status of an Institution of National Importance by an act of the Indian Parliament in 1959.
AgMark is an acronym for Agricultural Marketing and is used to certify the food products for quality control. Agmark has been dominated by other quality standards including the non manufacturing standard ISO 9000.
Benefits of ISI and Agmark Certification
Products having ISI Certification mark or Agmark are not required to be inspected by any agency. These products do not fall within the purview of the export inspection agencies network. The Customs Authorities allow export of such goods even if not accompanied by any pre-shipment inspection certificate, provided they are otherwise satisfied that the goods carry ISI Certification or the Agmark.
ISI The product certification scheme is basically voluntary and aims at providing quality, safety and dependability to the ultimate customer. Presence of certification mark known as Standard Mark on a product is an assurance of conformity to the specifications. The conformity is ensured by regular surveillance of the licensee's performance by surprise inspections and testing of samples, drawn both from the factory and the market.
AGMARK-Quality standards for agricultural commodities are framed based on their intrinsic quality. Food safety factors are being incorporated in the standards to complete in World trade. Standards are being harmonised with international standards keeping in view th WTO requirements. Certification of agricultural commodities is carried out for the benefit of producer/manufacturer and consumer. Certification of adulteration prone commodities viz. Butter, Ghee, Vegetable Oils, Ground-Spices, Honey, Wheat Atta etc. is very popular. Blended Edible Vegetable Oils and Fat Spread are compulsorily required to be certified under Agmark.
Facilities for testing and grading of Cotton for the benefit of cotton growers is provided through six cotton classing centres set up in cotton growing belt in the country.
During the year 1999-2000, agricultural commodities worth Rs. 429767 lakhs were graded and marked under AGMARK. Check is kept on the quality of certified products through 23 laboratories and 43 offices spread all over the country.