13 Handicrafts Certified With The Bhutan Seal Of Quality

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Focusing on Bhutanese handicrafts, the products are categorised into two broad categories - traditional and non-traditional or contemporary Zorig Chusum (Bhutanese handicrafts).

(Source: Kuensel)

 

By Chimi Dema Kuensel

On May 21, thirteen  handicraft  products were  certified  with  the  Seal  of Quality  at  the  fourth  Bhutan Seal Award in Thimphu.

Funded by the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) Project, the Bhutan Seal Award is held every alternative year. The winners were awarded a cash prize of Nu 20,000 each.

The winners will enjoy benefits such as:

  1. promotional tools to attest to the excellence or quality of the product,
  2. access to marketing platforms,
  3. advice on rights protection,
  4. and opportunities to attend upgrading training to improve their products.

Likewise, customers will get to enjoy quality assurance and fair monetary value.

Criteria used for judging

The judging session was held on April 26 where the products were selected by a panel of 12 judges comprising of both national and international experts on handicrafts.

The criteria used to judge the products were: authenticity, design, skills or technique, material, finishing, marketing and innovation.

Based on the scores that meet the Bhutan seal standards, the products are certified with either the Seal of Quality or the Seal of Excellence.

Although the trade department received 18 products this year, no product was awarded the Seal of Excellence this year.

“For a product to meet the excellent quality, it should obtain an average rating of four and above, and no criteria rated less than two,” the Chief Trade Officer with the Department of Trade, Zecko said.

Examples of products which qualified for the Seal of Quality

Focusing on Bhutanese handicrafts, the products are categorised into two broad categories - traditional and non-traditional or contemporary Zorig Chusum (Bhutanese handicrafts).

Products that qualified for the Seal of Quality were: a brass doorknob from the traditional category while the non-traditional products included textiles and a contemporary painting.

 

Photo: Facebook/Chen-Ray Textiles

 

Participants from the Bronze Casting Works, handicrafts owners, the Tarayana Rural Crafts and a painter submitted products for the award.

Since the inception of the Bhutan Seal in 2009, the department of trade has so far awarded the Seal of Quality to 55 handicraft products while five products were awarded the Seal of Excellence in the past.

According to the officer for the Bhutan Seal Programme, Rinzin Lhamo, the department has received positive feedback from all the stakeholders on the certified products.

“We were told by the producers and craft dealers about how easy it was to sell their certified products,” she said.

The owner of Chen-Ray Handicrafts in the capital, Thinley Zangmo, won two seals of quality awards for her products - a silk clutch and a silk mini handbag.

She has to date produced six silk mini handbags and 15 clutches. A handbag costs Nu 7,000 and a clutch, Nu 6,000. She also won the same award for a table runner in 2017.

The certificates for the selected products are valid for four years, after which the products have to be resubmitted for the extension of the validity period.

 

This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for Daily Bhutan.

 


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