Handicraft products which received the 2004 UNESCO/AHPADA Seal of Excellence (SEAL) were announced in a ceremony in Ayutthaya, Thailand

7 September 2004

An international panel of judges certified 51 handicraft products with the SEAL. The SEAL products will be displayed together with the SEAL-certified products from the past three years, from 19 - 22 August 2004 at the Centre for Historical Education in Ayutthaya. The more then 120 products belong to six categories: home decorations, garments, accessories, jewellery, giftware and toys; and are made from materials such as natural fibres, wood, metal, stone, textiles and ceramics.

The Seal of Excellence (SEAL) for Handicraft Products of Southeast Asia was jointly established by UNESCO and the ASEAN Handicraft Promotion and Development Association (AHPADA) in 2000, in order to establish quality standards and to enhance regional and international awareness of hand-made traditional and innovative ASEAN handicrafts.

Only outstanding handicraft products which meet rigorous production, quality and design criteria are certified with the SEAL.

Judging of handicraft products takes place on an annual basis August and the selection panel makes its decisions based on the following criteria:

Demonstrated excellence and standard-setting quality in craftsmanship

Creative and successful alliance of traditional skills and innovation in material, form or design

Expression of cultural identity and traditional aesthetic value

Respect for the environment in materials and production techniques

Marketability of the craft products with potential for the world market

This year the certified products were from the following ASEAN countries: Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam.

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