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The role of Codex and food safety in the 2021 Food Systems Summit

In 2021 a Food Systems Summit led by UN Secretary-General António Guterres will be part of what is known as the ‘Decade of Action’ to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Speaking at the Executive Committee session on 14 January 2021, Jamie Morrison, Director of the Food Systems Programme in FAO, told delegates how the Summit aims “to generate a much better understanding amongst the public as to the importance of the choices they make” regarding the purchase, consumption [...]
14 January 2021

FAO, WHO and Codex continuing to fulfil leadership in food safety and public health

Parent bodies applaud innovation in Codex, maintaining focus and momentum during the pandemic As the 80th session of the Executive Committee of the Codex Alimentarius Commission opened online on 13 January 2021, Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director-General of FAO, complimented Codex on its ability to quickly adapt to new efficient and effective virtual ways of working. During the pandemic, Codex standards have provided clear, immediate and effective solutions to protect supply chains and consumers and “together we have a chance to [...]
13 January 2021

Codex Secretary Tom Heilandt looks back on 2020

As 2020 drew to a close we asked Codex Secretary Tom Heilandt to look back on the year and these are his thoughts. What has been different about 2020? Just about everything! Travel went down from maybe 50 to three times.  Physical meetings, both Codex meetings and others were “virtually” non-existent. The last time, I met Codex members was at CCEXEC78 back in February, and our last physical Codex team meeting was at the beginning of March. So, everything was different, but [...]
01 January 2021

Incoming regional coordinators learn the key to Codex work

In the second of a series of online webinars organized by the Codex Secretariat for the incoming coordinators representing the six regions in the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the focus was on their role in the Executive Committee, the next session of which will take place, again virtually, from 13 to 21 January 2021. Guilherme Da Costa, Chairperson of the Codex Alimentarius Commission said: “The successful achievement of Members in Codex is directly related to the commitment of the Regional Coordinators to [...]
15 December 2020

Growing relevance of standards as WTO committee celebrates 25 years

For 25 years an agreement on how governments can apply food safety and animal and plant health measures (sanitary and phytosanitary or SPS measures) has set out the basic rules for trading partners in the World Trade Organization (WTO). The SPS Agreement ensures a country’s consumers are supplied with food that is safe and that national health and safety regulations are not used for protecting domestic markets. The SPS Agreement encourages governments “to establish national SPS measures consistent with international standards, [...]
06 November 2020

November launch for webinars on methods of analysis and sampling

Codex recommended methods of analysis are particularly important for checking compliance with provisions in Codex standards. Foundation texts developed by the Codex Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling (CCMAS), such as The General Standard on Methods of Analysis and Sampling, CX234, provide an essential reference for food business operators and analysts. The upcoming webinar series, taking place online from 23 to 25 November 2020, will include a session with experts from Standard Development Organizations (SDOs), who will hold an open meeting [...]
03 November 2020

World Food Day 2020. Our actions are our future.

World Food Day 2020 under the slogan “Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together”, calls for more resilient and robust agri-food systems, and for global solidarity - both vital for our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and for building back better. World Food Day 2020 also applauds Food Heroes throughout the food supply chain who, no matter what the situation or where in the world they are, continue to provide food to their communities and beyond. This observance falls as the Codex Alimentarius Commission is [...]
16 October 2020

First virtual Commission Day 4: adopts all standards proposed and reactivates fish committee

With an audience again exceeding 500, the 43rd gathering of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, being held in three-hour sessions across six days, has completed its programme of standard adoption and approval of new work. Chairperson Guilherme Da Costa, Brazil, applauded once again the continued collaboration of Member Countries to build consensus and ensure valuable work can continue. “I thank you all for your support, your energy and usual cooperative spirit”, he said. The Commission adopted a series of standards from the Processed [...]
13 October 2020

A strong and responsive Codex important to advancing FAO Food Safety Strategy

Delegations attending the 27th Committee on Agriculture (COAG), held virtually from 28 September to 2 October 2020, have agreed to support the development of a new FAO Food Safety Strategy which will contribute to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with consideration for food safety issues, as the transformation of food systems accelerates. The strategy will align with this transformation and provide advice on managing unforeseen global challenges and crises that may affect the food supply. It will also serve [...]
06 October 2020

Virtual Commission opens with an emphasis on innovation

The Directors-General of FAO and WHO, the parent organizations of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, set the stage for five days of decision-making on food standards with a message about getting ‘better’. More than 800 registered delegates joined the first-ever virtual Commission, now in its 43rd session, held remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In congratulating the Commission for ‘jumping into the digital world’, FAO Director-General Dr QU Dongyu noted that science is the driving force for setting Codex food standards. “When [...]
24 September 2020
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