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What is AGMARK Certification and FSSAI License?


Initially, in India, every product was governed by an act which was specially formed for that particular product- Vegetable Oil Products Order 1947, Milk Products Order 1992, etc. However, it caused a lot of hassle for the authorities governing them because of the continuous changing environment in our country.

However, with the enactment of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 all the previous acts for food products were consolidated and brought under one roof. Here we will discuss about AGMARK Certification vs FSSAI License?.

Understanding AGMARK Certification and FSSAI License

  • FSSAI stands for the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. It is an Independent Authority created in 2008 under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 with an aim to regulate the quality and safety of food business in India. Its primary objective is to certify or to provide for a base covering to all food items and also ensures that the food items are safe for consumption. The FSSAI License acts as a checkpoint or an acid test, as it examines whether the food product abides by the food standards as prescribed by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. Every business whether it be Storage, Manufacturing, Distribution, Packaging, Re-Labelling, Import or Export of a food product, FSSAI license is a must.
  • AGMARK is an acronym for Agricultural Mark which is a certification provided for all agricultural products by The Directorate of Marketing and Inspection. In layman’s Language, AGMARK is a kind of passing mark given by The Directorate of Marketing and Inspection to the Agricultural Products that pass the required grading and certification tests. People often get confused by FSSAI License and AGMARK (FSSAI License vs AGMARK) and think they are the same. But they are not the same, and there is a difference between them.
  • FSSAI Authority performs numerous functions that include framing of regulations in relation to food standards, laying down procedure and guidelines for laboratories accreditation, etc. The Directorate of marketing and inspection for agricultural produce ensures that the quality and purity of the product is maintained, frames the quality standards for agricultural commodities among other things. 

Major Difference between AGMARK Certification and FSSAI License

AGMARK certification and FSSAI License differ on the following aspects:

Difference between AGMARK Certification and FSSAI License
  • The primary difference between an AGMARK and FSSAI license is that AGMARK is a certification while FSSAI is a government agency. AGMARK is an inspection seal provided for quality of Agricultural Products whereas, FSSAI Licensing covers every food item whether agricultural or non-agricultural. Not only it includes the Quality Standards of the Food Products but also covers all other activities like Manufacturing, Storage, Re-Labelling, Import or Export, Sales and Safety of food items.
  • Two separate acts govern FSSAI and AGMARK. While FSSAI was established under the Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006 whereas, AGMARK is covered by the Agriculture Produce (Grading and Marking) Act of India, 1937 (amended in 1986).
  • AGMARK certification is provided for the Agricultural Products after various analysis like chemical analysis, microbiological analysis, pesticide residue content, and aflatoxin analysis (for products like Ghee, spices, Honey, etc.). These tests/analyses are conducted at various state-owned laboratories. There are also Regional Laboratories based in 11 nodal cities. However, the Central AGMARK Laboratory is located in Nagpur. But it should be noted that AGMARK is given only for the Product. At present, 213 agricultural products are covered under AGMARK certification.

FSSAI License is allotted based on turnover and activity but for a particular Establishment. Eg. Every branch of McDonald’s is required to have an FSSAI License of its own in spite of them operating under the same brand name. It has three kinds of licenses in FSSAI; Basic, State & Central.

  • In case of AGMARK Certification allotment is done after various analyses whereas in case of FSSAI, the allotment is done on the basis of turnover and activity.
  • As far as coverage is concerned, the present AGMARK[1] standard covers quality guidelines for 205 different commodities whereas FSSAI covers all food products and for some standards have been laid down. 


FSSAI has laid down science based standards to make sure the quality of food products is maintained. It monitors other essentials of food business such as storage, manufacturing etc. AGMARK certification is a mark that applies to AGMARK product list.

Read our article: Implications of Non Compliance with the Provisions of FSSAI

Ashish M. Shaji

Ashish M. Shaji has done his graduation in law (BA. LLB) from CCS University. He has keen interests in doing extensive research and writing on legal subjects especially on corporate law. He is a creative thinker and has a great interest in exploring legal subjects.

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