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Saturday, Jun 01, 2002

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BIS certification soon for sugar industry

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THE Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), in association with the South Indian Sugar Mills Association (SISMA), held a seminar here on Friday as a part of an "awareness programme'' aimed at informing the sugar industry about the advantages of having BIS certification for its products.

BIS is in the process of harmonising its standards on sugars with Codex Standards and also open its certification scheme to the sugar industry. Certification, according to BIS officials, demonstrates that the product conforms to a given standard, thereby giving it a market advantage.

The speakers at the seminar emphasised that enhancement of exports, upgradation of technology, improvement of quality, product diversification and achieving economies of scale were essential for the survival of the ailing sugar industry in the country.

They also said that it was imperative for the sugar industry to adopt a comprehensive policy keeping in view the environment arising out of the WTO agreement, and be able to compete in the global market. For improving exports, the industry was asked to meet the stringent international standards.

Pointing out that there was a surplus of 15 million tonnes of sugar in the country at present, BIS Director-General, Mr K. M. Sahni, warned that if measures were not taken to dispose of these stocks profitably, a day would come when notices would have to be issued, like in the case of coffee, not to grow more sugarcane. He said that BIS certification fee was not high and was based on the tests to be conducted.

Those who addressed the seminar included the Andhra Pradesh Minister for Sugar, Mr P. Narayana Swamy Naidu; the State Principal Secretary, Ms Minnie Mathews; the Commissioner for Sugar, Mr Sutirtha Battacharya; and SISMA Vice-President, Mr P. M. Nair.

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