ISO certification to boost sugar industry, too - SRA

THE only International Standards Organization (ISO) certification in Negros Occidental given to a Bacolod-based private laboratory will also boost the province’s sugar industry, particularly in the creation of standards for the production of sugar, said Sugar Regulatory Administrator (SRA) chief Ma. Regina Martin.

The Philippine Accreditation Bureau (PAB) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Monday awarded an ISO certificate to the Negros Prawn Producers Cooperative (NPPC) Analytical and Diagnostic Laboratory after its application for water testing was approved by the accreditation body.

It is the first private laboratory in the province, and one of the 233 ISO accredited government and private laboratories in the country.

Through this ISO certified laboratory, plants and farm qualities will be analyzed, Martin said, adding that there are also international standards for mills and since sugar is food, it must also conform to food safety standards.

“Sugar mills can send samples to the NPPC laboratory for testing (to see) if their products are within the international standards,” Martin said.

Since the market itself is also very selective, industrial users like softdrinks which is 50 to 60 percent market of refined sugar, they always require “bottlers grade” as one of the basis of international standards, she stressed.

The SRA administrator further said that farms, through the laboratory, are also being capacitated to determine the nutrient content of the sugarcane, and provide ideal chemicals and food of necessary amount needed by the crop.

“The analysis and testing services the ISO certified laboratory provide will definitely increase productivity among farms since even up to the minute detail of the sugarcane can now be determined,” Martin added. (EPN)
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