Thiruvananthapuram: Products with Geographical Indication (GI) or GI tags stand out and are sought-after for their unique attributes linked to their place of origin or manufacture. Soon, goods with ‘Made in Kerala’ logo too will be available on shop shelves across the world. The Kerala branding aims to encourage the production of quality products and services from the State.
Manufacturers or producers who get the certification can display the legally registered ‘Made in Kerala’ logo and release their products in the market. The certification is valid for two years and can be renewed thereafter.
A state-level 10-member committee has been formed to set the quality criteria for the Kerala brand products under each department. It is chaired by the Principal Secretary of the Department of Industries.
The Department has also formed Taluk-level committees to issue Kerala brand certification after considering the applications from the product manufacturers.
The general criteria for certification include: the raw materials used for the product must be from Kerala, the manufacturing process must be in Kerala, women’s participation in the manufacture, use of technology in the process, prominence for the reusable energy resources, the product must be environment friendly and socially responsible.
The manufacturer can directly apply for the certification. Recommendations can also be made through Government departments and agencies. Each product must carry the stipulated quality certificates mandatorily.
The criteria for the products which do not come under these terms would be set by the State- level committee.
For example, if the product is coconut oil, the coconut must be from Kerala. The drying unit and the processing unit must also be in Kerala. It should have the Agmark and BIS certifications. The oil should be Grade 1. Based on the annual turnover, the manufacturer must get the respective licences from the Food Safety Standards Authority of India.
Where to apply
The applications must be submitted to the Taluk-level Committee chaired by the District Industrial Centre General Manager. The committee, including the district head of the department, an Industries association representative, and a representative from the research centre related to the product sector, would decide on the application. Checking would be conducted at regular intervals. If the criteria and regulations are found to be violated, the certification would be cancelled after giving some time. The secretaries of the respective departments are vice chairpersons in the State Committee which sets the quality criteria and the Industries director would be the convenor.
Advantages of Kerala brand
The products and services selected for the ‘Kerala brand’ would get a free promotion at the Government’s e-markets. Financial aid would also be provided to procure high-level quality certification which helps in exporting the product.
Priority in the State fund schemes, exhibition facility at international trade fairs in which the State participates and promotional support in the countries where Keralites reside are also offered.