The award function for the Bhutan SEAL Program was organized by the Department of Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA) on June 26, 2021, in Thimphu. The Hon’ble Tengye Lyonpo graced the function as the Chief Guest. The function was attended by the Secretary, MoEA, senior government officials, award winners and the organizers. As per the government’s advisory of COVID 19 Safety Protocol, the function was attended by a limited number of guests.
There were a total of 46 handicraft products submitted for the Seal Award, out of which, 3 products were submitted under the ‘Traditional Category’ and 43 were under the ‘Non-Traditional Category.’ Out of 46 products, 5 products were awarded the ‘Seal of Excellence and 30 products were awarded the ‘Seal of Quality.
As usual, the awardees were given certificates as well as cash prizes to encourage the artisans and the producers. The selected products will also be given promotional support and other marketing incentives while the non-awarded products will be given product development and capacity building support to encourage producers to improve their quality and take part in future events.
The judging session for the Fifth Round of Bhutan Seal Award 2021 was held from June 22-23, 2021 for a duration of two days in the Department of Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs. The products were vetted by a panel of 8 judges consisting of national experts on the crafts from various relevant agencies.
The Bhutan Seal Program is conducted once every two years. The certificates awarded to the selected products shall remain valid for four years after which the product needs to be resubmitted for assessment. The Bhutan SEAL Award of Excellence and Quality was initiated in the year 2009 considering the importance of the handicraft sector and the need to further develop and bring it into mainstream economic activity. The Bhutan SEAL Award of Excellence and Quality concept is borrowed from the UNESCO SEAL of Excellence for Handicrafts.