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Laos, Chinese firm partner to improve food quality

Laos plans to open a national centre this year to inspect and guarantee the quality of food products and beverages that have either been imported or produced domestically.
The new centre will be fully equipped to inspect and guarantee the quality of all types of food and beverages. It will be the first of its kind in Laos, serving as a ready reference centre for the inspection of food and beverages.

The agreement to build the new centre for the quality inspection of foodstuffs was signed in Vientiane on Tuesday by the Director-General of the Department of Standardisation and Metrology under the Ministry of Sciences and Technology, Mr Viengthong Vongthavilay, and the Chairman of Tech Food of China, Mr Xie Yu.
The ceremony for the signing of the agreement was attended by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Boviengkham Vongdara, and officials of the National Standards Certificate and Quality Inspection Centre, which is under the ministry.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Viengthong said after the construction of the national centre is completed in 2020, it will play an important role in assuring the quality of food and beverages, including products that are imported and distributed in the country.
 The new centre will have modern laboratory equipment and highly qualified staff who can ensure that consumers can access food and beverages with consistently high quality.
He said all types of food products will be checked for unwanted chemicals with the goal of promoting organically produced goods and enhancing food security for the public.
The centre will be able to monitor all food products imported from neighbouring countries, including new products, he added.
The ministry has been working to strengthen the capacity of its staff in the field so that it can introduce more food quality inspections and give certificates to businesses that meet the benchmarks.
Another of the ministry’s goals is to cooperate with regional and international bodies for assistance with funding and personnel exchanges on standards to guarantee and improve quality in all sectors, as Laos currently employs inadequately qualified staff when compared to neighbouring countries.
According to the ministry, standards certificates have been awarded to more than 100 businesses in food and construction, including those manufacturing table salt, cassava powder and other foods, as well as timber used in the construction sector.
A certificate has been awarded to Savannakhet-based cement manufacturer Oulayphanith Company Ltd, which complied with ISO 9001 certification.

By Phetphoxay Sengpaseuth
(Latest Update July 2, 2020)

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