Products of Quality National Scheme

Products of Quality National Scheme

Introduction 


The ‘Products of Quality’ National Scheme is a national voluntary scheme recognised by the European Commission, open to all interested actors who form part of a recognised agricultural value chain, being involved in a set of activities which collectively increase the value of a specific agricultural product. This may involve the Production, Processing, Packaging, Storage, Transport and Distribution of an agricultural product. This national scheme sets binding products or production method specifications which recognises the production and farming methods and those elements that characterize the superior quality of the product.


 
 
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The scheme is based on four pillars namely;


1. Standard 

Developing specific standards (in collaboration with the stakeholders) for food products whereby the final products shall have specific product characteristics, or their specificity is based on specific farming or production methods or if the quality of the products goes significantly beyond the commercial standards as regards public, animal or plant health, animal welfare or environmental protection. Approved Product Specification Standards by the European Commission can be accessed here​.


2. Controls 

Following an expression of interest, the Control Bodies approved by the Directorate carry onsite inspections as established in the control plan to ensure compliance with the production criteria laid down in the standard.



3. Traceability 

A web-based traceability system has been designed and made accessible to all stakeholders involved in the production of certified products so that it helps trace the movement of the product along the value chain. Any actor wishing to participate in the scheme shall submit a traceability document in line with the guidelines established by the Director. 



4. Market Surveillance 

Regular market inspections will be conducted by the Directorate to ensure that only products and batches declared are identified with the logo.​

 

Objective 


The ‘Products of Quality’ National Scheme holds two main objectives; 

1. To promote, qualify and diffuse agricultural products in order to give them value, as well as create awareness and appreciation of such products. 

2. To attain the nationally recognised Quality Mark certification which demonstrates that the product/s in question are acknowledged and adhere to the quality scheme’s established regulations and are thus to be considered of a superior quality. 


Directorate Role 


The Agricultural Directorate’s role through the Regulatory Policy Section is to set out the rules for the implementation of the scheme​, administrative criteria, publish binding product and method specifications and implement an effective control system which ensure that those products falling under this scheme are up to the established superior quality standards. For agricultural products whose product specifications has not yet been established and approved by the European Commission, a product specification proposal may be presented to the Director for reviewing, by any actor who wants to participate to the Products of Quality’​ National scheme.​



 

Legal Basis 

 
 
  


Further Information 


 

Labelling of the ‘Products Of Quality’ National Scheme Products

  
The product compliant with the ‘Products of Quality’ National scheme, in addition to any other required information set forth by other regulations, shall bear the logo which identifies the “Products of Quality” mark and the established product name recognised for that value chain. Any operator participating in the scheme who intends to use the ‘Quality Mark’ Logo shall follow the Rules for the use of the Quality Mark.​

  
Basket full of different vegetables 

 


Products of Quality National Scheme Logo​




pqns logo 
 
 



Conditions for participation in the scheme 


For an actor to be able to participate in the scheme, the actor shall fulfil the administrative criteria established by the Director and shall meet the following: 

a) Abide to all applicable EU and National Regulations in connection with the production of agro-food products and conditions of employment;

b) Follow the rules for the implementation of the scheme as established by the Director; 

c) Abide to the product specifications relative to the product for which participation in the scheme is being sought; 

d) Be subject to a system of controls with a Control Body recognised by the Directorate 

e) Adopt a traceability system in line with the guidelines​ established by the Director in the Government Gazette.

An actor who wants to participate in the Scheme shall submit an application form to the Agricultural Directorate which can be accessed through the following links: 

a) Animal based: MTEN 

b) Land based: MTEN​ 

The Director shall on receipt of the application verify that all the requested information and documentation has been submitted and that the applicant fulfils the required criteria. If the information is verified to be correct and the applicant fulfils these criteria the actor shall enter a system of controls which if successful will ultimately lead to a certificate of adherence to the ‘Products of Quality’ National scheme. Guidelines for the procedure in participating in the PQNS





pqns collage 
 




Further Information / Guidelines/ Catalogues/ Application forms links 





Contact 


Product of Quality National Schemes 
Telephone: 2292 4552



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