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CCPFV29 – the only Codex technical committee to meet in 2020 concludes


“Not only was this session the first full Codex committee meeting held by correspondence, it also took place during the very challenging and unexpected COVID-19 pandemic.” reflected Richard Boyd, Chairperson of the Codex Committee on Processed Fruits and Vegetables (CCPFV) as he concluded the 29th Session of the CCPFV on July 29th 2020.  Having worked by correspondence from January to July 2020, the Committee proposed five standards for adoption by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. These include standards for dried fruits, canned mixed fruits, mango chutney, chili sauce and gochujang.

While not the first Codex Committee to work by correspondence, CCPFV is the first to have successfully managed to address such an extensive agenda and plenary session protocols in this manner. Using the Codex online forum to manage communications, the Committee also built on the extensive work undertaken by electronic working groups in advance of the session and the chairs of all the electronic working groups continued to play a vital role during the plenary discussions of various agenda items. The momentum of the work was maintained by all the delegations who reviewed comments and revised texts for further discussion. “It was a great experience to join the innovative way of working by correspondence” commented Youshin Shim, CCPFV delegate from the Republic of Korea. “It worked well and can contribute the Codex core values of inclusiveness, collaboration, consensus building and transparency". 

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, CCPFV was the only standards development Codex Committee that could actually “meet” this year.  In this context Myoengsin Choi, Codex Secretariat noted that “CCPFV29 proved to be fruitful, and it can be an example of an effective way of working when holding physical meetings might not be possible”. However, Choi also acknowledged that this modality of working can be more time-consuming and demanding compared to a committee meeting physically.

The efforts of the CCPFV were commended by the 79th session of the Executive Committee of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CCEXEC) which concluded its virtual meeting on 20th July.  CCEXEC79 emphasised the importance of using the lessons learned from this work in the ongoing discussions on Working by Correspondence which are currently ongoing under the auspices of the Codex Committee on General Principles.


Richard Boyd, Chairperson of the Codex Committee on Processed Fruits and Vegetables (CCPFV), working by correspondence.

Wrapping up CCPFV29, Chairperson Boyd concluded “I am thankful for the success that has come from the teamwork among CCPFV29’s participants.” The decision of the Codex Membership on whether CAC43 should meet virtually in September 2020 will now determine how soon the work of CCPFV will be translated into official Codex Standards as well as the future of the Committee.

Learn more:

Codex Committee on Processed Fruit and Vegetables

43rd session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission