The Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries has supported the National Dairy Development Board(NDDB) developed initiative of “Quality Mark” Award Scheme for dairy Cooperatives to promote and encourage enhancement of safety, quality and hygiene of milk and milk products manufactured by dairy cooperatives.
It is aimed at bringing about process improvement in the entire value chain from producer to the consumer to ensure availability of safe and quality of milk and products both for the domestic and foreign market.
The Quality Mark” Award Scheme for dairy Cooperatives in the country has been initiated to instill confidence in the consumers for the quality of milk being marketed by them by ensuring availability of safe and good quality milk and milk products.
The quality mark scheme was rolled out on 6th January-2016 after deliberating on the process and award mechanism for over a year.
The initiative does not propose any new/ additional system for Food Safety and Quality Management but lays down minimum standards against each link of the processes required for ensuring quality and safety.
The NDDB is in the process of registering the quality mark logo under Trademarks Act, 1998. The Dairy units which meet the criteria for award of quality mark will be allowed to use the logo on the package containing milk and milk products and the award of the quality mark shall be specific for location of the dairy unit as well as for the process for a particular product.
The mark may be applied to the packaging or printed on a label affixed to the package. The logo/symbol of quality mark on milk and milk product packages indicates that the dairy unit has adopted and implemented all the processes required as per the food safety and quality management system for manufacture of milk and milk products as per the set quality parameters.
The assessment is a two-step process involving pre-assessment and a final assessment. The pre-assessment largely covers the village level procurement and processing infrastructure availability, training manpower and the retail sales.
Only those dairy units that score over 70% in the preliminary assessment are considered for final assessment which is done by a team of three experts of which one is an external expert.
The final assessment is made for the evaluation of 45 critical and 97 major parameters that influence the quality of the processed milk and milk products.
The award of Quality Mark shall be valid for three years subject to maintenance of quality, food safety standards and compliance with terms and conditions of the agreement.