Lack of quality labs barrier to export of food products

16 October 2021

Processed food products of Bangladesh are still unable to enter the world market in the absence of certification by an internationally accepted standard laboratory which can guarantee the quality of such products. So, the quality of Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) needs to be increased with a view to making it a recognised world class standards laboratory, speakers said at a seminar. BSTI is now providing certification to increase the export of halal products only to Muslim countries. However, the institution can take up a project to build a modern and globally acceptable laboratory. We may get cooperation of foreign donors for this. If we don't get support we should do it on our own.
It is not enough to export food products to meet the needs of Bangladeshi expatriates overseas, we should compete in the world market with quality products to expand the export basket. Thus, the state run BSTI needs to be upgraded to crediably certify food products that meet international market standards. The discussion was arranged on the occasion of the 52nd World Standards Day by the BSTI at its office in the capital on Thursday.
Stakeholders at the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), the apex trade body, said our industrial entrepreneurs spend a lot of money abroad on lab tests of various products. If BSTI has the capability and global acceptance we would not have to go abroad for these tests. Though there is a huge demand for agro-based products worldwide, we can't go beyond the ethnic market because there is no domestic standards organisation of international standing for quality verification of our products. Building a world-class laboratory would help stop the flow of money into chemical tests, as well as increase the acceptability of our products in the international market.

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