FSSAI Food License

What is AGMARK Certification and FSSAI License?

FSSAI License vs AGMARK

Products are categorized according to their quality criteria in all industries, including the food business. The governments have introduced specialized statutes like The Food Safety and Standards Act of 2006. The main goal of this action was to guarantee that consumers would receive food of the highest quality. Manufacturers and distributors of food products frequently employ the food quality standards FSSAI and AGMARK.

Numerous reasons, such as a rapidly altering environment, paved the way for modifications to many food safety rules. At this point, the Food Safety and Standards Act of 2006 was introduced, smoothly merging all of its predecessors into a single law. This re-organization is believed to make it simpler for customers to monitor laws and regulations and assess the genuine quality of food goods. 

What is FSSAI?

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India is referred to as FSSAI. It is a unique branch of government that was established in 2008 under the authority of the 2006 Food Safety and Standards Act. This public authority’s primary goal is to regulate and oversee the quality of the numerous food products supplied in India, ensuring the security of the nation’s food consumers.

By evaluating the quality of their products and making sure they are produced under hygienic conditions and are safe for consumption, it grants FSSAI certification to food manufacturers. The FSSAI certification serves as a form of guarantee that the food sold by certificate holders is healthy to consume. A consumer can more easily assess the quality of the food by simply looking at the FSSAI certificate. To conduct business in India, all producers, distributors, cold storage facilities, and even food packaging firms must abide by FSSAI regulations and have a current FSSAI licence.

Major Functions of FSSAI

Below is a list of the FSSAI’s primary responsibilities:

  • Regulations are being drafted to specify the strategies and standards relating to food products and to set forth the proper method for enforcing various standards as a result.
  • Defining the process and regulations for food laboratory authorization and the notification of accredited laboratories.
  • Establishing policies and procedures for the approval of certification bodies engaged in certifying food safety management systems for food processing facilities.
  • To provide Central Government and State Governments with scientific advice and technical help for the drafting of policies and regulations in areas that are known to have a direct or indirect impact on food safety and nutrition.
  • Collect and organize information on food consumption, biological risk occurrence and prevalence, food contaminants, different residues, the identification of evolving dangers, and the implementation of the quick warning system.
  • Create a national information distribution system to raise knowledge of common issues and food safety among the general public, panchayats, and consumers.
  • Run training programs for those working in or aspiring to work in the food processing industry.
  • Make it possible to create global technical standards for food and sanitary standards.
  • Increase public knowledge about food safety and standards.    

What is AGMARK?

AGMARK refers to a certification symbol for agricultural yield, which ensures that they abide by a grading standard advised by the Directorate of Marketing & Inspection (DMI), Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare under Agricultural Produce (Grading Marking) Act, 1937. These quality standards distinguish between different levels of quality, and 2-3 grades are recommended for each commodity. The authority has released grade standards for 222 agricultural commodities to date, including vegetables, fruits, pulses, cereals, spices, wheat, besan, oilseeds, vegetable oils, honey, creamery butter, ghee, atta, etc.

READ  Duties and Functions of Food Authority of India

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 of 2006 to automate the quality and safety of food business in India. Its primary objective is to certify or to provide a base covering all food items and ensuring that the food it ensures is 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 is for Manufacturing, Distribution, Packaging, Re-Labelling, Import or Export of a food product.

AGMARK is an acronym for Agricultural Mark1, which is a certification provided for all agricultural products by The Directorate of Marketing and Inspection. AGMARK is a kind of passing mark given by The Directorate of Marketing and Inspection to the Agricultural Pacts 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 regulations about food procedures and guidelines for lab procedures, accreditation, etc. The Directorate of Marketing ensures that the quality and purity of the product are maintained and frames the quality standards and or agricultural commodities, among other things.

Significant 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 the 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 it also covers all other activities like Manufacturing, Storage, Re-Labelling, Import or Export, Sales, and Safety of food items, separate acts governed under FSSAI and AGMARK. While FSSAI was established under the Food Safety and Standard Act of 2006, AGMARK is covered by the Agriculture Produce (Grading and Marking) Act of India, 1937 (amended in 1986).

AGMARK certification is provided for the Agricultural Pros after various analyses like chemical analyses, microbiological analyses, 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. E.g. Every branch of McDonald’s must have an FSSAI License despite the same brand name. It has three kinds of licenses in FSSAI; Basic, State & Central.

In the case of AGMARK Certification, the allotment is done after various analyses, whereas, in the case of FSSAI, the allotment is done based on turn-based only.

As far as coverage is concerned, the present AGMARK standard covers quality guidelines for 205 different commodities, whereas FSSAI covers all food products, and some standards have been down. 

READ  Key Features of Food Safety Compliance System (FoSCoS)

Conclusion

Both AGMARK certification and FSSAI license are crucial regulatory mechanisms in India that ensure quality, safety, and adherence to established standards for agricultural products and food businesses, respectively. The AGMARK certification instils consumer confidence by guaranteeing that agricultural products meet specified standards and essential parameters, promoting fair trade practices. On the other hand, the FSSAI license is mandatory for food businesses, ensuring their compliance with the food safety and standards authority of India’s regulations, thereby assuring the public of the safety and quality of food products available in the market. These certifications play a vital role in safeguarding consumer interests, fostering trust in the agricultural and food sectors, and contributing to the overall health and well-being of the population.

FAQs

  1. What is AGMARK in Food Safety?

    The certification mark for agricultural products in India is called AGMARK, or Agriculture Mark. AGMARK is an independent third-party assurance for agricultural products made and used in India.

  2. What does AGMARK stand for?

    The full form of AGMARK is Agriculture marketing.

  3. What is the main function of AGMARK?

    AGMARK is a certification mark under the Agricultural Produce (Grading Marking) Act of 1937 that ensures agricultural products comply with a star grading rate of the Marketing & Inspection (DMI), Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare.

  4. What are the two examples of AGMARK?

    According to The Food Safety and Standards Act and Regulations2006, certification under AGMARK for blended edible vegetable oils and fat spreads is required. Spices, ghee, butter, mustard oil, wheat atta, besan, honey, and other products are among the goods certified under Agmark for internal trade.

  5. What is AGMARK based on?

    Contrarily, AGMARK is intended solely for agricultural goods. The 1937 Agriculture Produce (Grading and Marketing) Act of India governs AGMARK.

  6. What use does the FSSAI certification mark serve?

    It certifies all food products, offers a foundation or standard that covers all of them, and ensures that they are hygienic and safe to eat.

  7. What is the purpose of the FSSAI mark?

    The purpose of the FSSAI is to establish scientifically sound foundations for food products and to control their production, storage, distribution, and sale to guarantee the safety of wholesome, safe food for human consumption.

  8. Which mark is necessary on food products?

    Penalties for not certifying the goods are avoided because of the ISI Mark Certificate. The approved food item gives consumers a feeling of security and safety, resulting in simple acceptance. Effectively gain market acceptance while a food product is certified and tested.

  9. What does FSSAI certification mean?

    India's Food Safety and Standards Authority is the official name of the organization. The FSSAI has jurisdiction over the FSS Act's rules and regulations. It examines FBOs' safe food handling, manufacturing, and storage procedures. Additionally, it guarantees that FBOs adhere to the rules and nutritional requirements outlined in the FSS Act.

  10. What is the difference between FSSAI and AGMARK?

    AGMARK is a certification, but FSSAI is a government organization, and this is the main distinction between an AGMARK and FSSAI license. While FSSAI Licencing includes all food items, whether agricultural or not, AGMARK is an inspection seal provided for the quality of agricultural products.

  11. Who certifies AGMARK certification?

    AGMARK is a certification mark for agricultural products that guarantee that the grading adheres to a grading standard announced by the Directorate of Marketing & Inspection (DMI), Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, and Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare under the Agricultural Produce (Grading Marking) Act, 1937.

  12. Which food products require AGMARK?

    According to rules in The Food Safety Regulations Act, 2006, certification under AGMARK is required for blended edible vegetable oils and fat spread. Spices, ghee, butter, mustard oil, wheat atta, besan, honey, and other products are among the goods certified under Agmark for internal trade.

  13. What food standard does AGMARK specify?

    The Food Safety and Standards Act of 2006, the Codex Alimentarius Commission, and the International Organization for Standardization serve as the foundation for the AGMARK standards. Except for edible vegetable oils and fat spread, which must be certified under the FSSAI Regulations of 2006, AGMARK certification is optional.

  14. Who legally enforced the AGMARK in India?

    The AGMARK Head Office at Faridabad (Haryana) is legally enforced in India by the Agricultural Produce (Grading and Marking) Act of 1937 (and amended in 1986).

  15. Who owns AGMARK?

    Today, AGMark LLC: Consists of 6 owners: CVA, Concordia Terminal LLC, Ottawa Cooperative, Cloud County Co-op, Randall Farmers Union Co-op, and Trinity Ag LLC.

  16. What distinguishes the marks AGMARK from the FPO mark?

    For the benefit of its citizens, the Indian government has authorized the use of quality marks on various goods. AGMARK for agricultural products, ISI for electrical items, BIS for gold jewellery, and “FPO” for all processed fruit products are some examples of these standards.

  17. What is the difference between AGMARK and Hallmark?

    BIS hallmark: In India, silver and jewellery made of precious metals are certified as pure by the BIS Hallmark. AGMARK: This mark is given to agricultural products by the Directorate of Marketing and Inspection of the Government of India.

  18. What is the difference between AGMARK and ISI mark?

    AGMARK: The Directorate of Marketing and Inspection of the Government of India issued this mark, which applies to agricultural products. Products that adhere to the established Indian Standards for products and are judged safe for consumer use will bear the ISI mark.

  19. What does the FPO mark mean on food items?

    The Food Products Order (FPO) mark, used on food items marketed in India, is the full name of the FPO mark. All processed fruit goods, such as fruit jams, packed fruit beverages, crushes and squashes, dehydrated fruit products, pickles, and fruit extracts, must bear the FPO mark to be sold in India.

  20. Where is the main office of AGMARK laboratory?

    Agmark certification monitoring and research analysis are carried out by one Central Agmark Laboratory in Nagpur and eleven Regional Agmark Laboratories in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Jaipur, Amritsar, Kochi, Kanpur, Guntur, Chennai, Bhopal, and Rajkot.

  21. What is the difference between AGMARK and ISI?

    The ISI mark serves to verify the products' high quality. AGMARK:- Marketing for agriculture is what it means. The Directorate of Marketing and Inspection, Government of India, has accredited the organization. It is an Indian agricultural product certification mark.

  22. What is the significance of ISI and AGMARK?

    AGMARK: This logo is used on agricultural products and is issued by the Indian Government’s Directorate of Marketing and Inspection. Products that adhere to the established Indian Standards for products and are judged safe for consumer use will bear the ISI mark.

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

References

  1. https://www.dmi.gov.in/GradesStandard.aspx

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