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Codex Observers

At the heart of the Codex mandate are the core values of collaboration, inclusiveness, consensus building and transparency. Governmental and non-governmental, public and private organizations alike play a vital role in ensuring Codex texts are of the highest quality and based on sound science.

Codex would have little authority in the field of international standard setting if it did not welcome and acknowledge the valuable contributions made by observers. Expert technical bodies, industry and consumer associations contribute to the standard-setting process in a spirit of openness, collaboration and transparency.

Intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can apply for observer status in Codex in order to attend and put forward their views at every stage of the standard-setting process.

Currently the Codex Alimentarius Commission has: 211 Codex Observers - 48 IGOs, 147 NGOs, 16 UN.

Observer News

Codex Observer sees yellow at CCFA

A group of food additives called beta-carotenes are used to add a yellow colour to foods like soft drinks, confectionary and cakes. At the Codex Committee on Food Additives meeting in Hong Kong, SAR, China from 27-31 March 2023, beta-cartones have been included on the priority list of additives with the mandate to evaluate the exposure to these food additives by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). This request results from a concern that was raised in [...]
31 March 2023

CCNFSDU / Council for Responsible Nutrition symposium open to all Codex delegates

The Council for Responsible Nutrition, a Codex Observer organization, will hold an in-person symposium on 5 March 2023 in Düsseldorf, Germany, prior to the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU). Speakers include Lynnette Neufeld, Director of the Food and Nutrition Division in FAO. Topics that will be discussed include: Populations in crisis: A global overview of health challenges and policy efforts Between nutrient deficiency and chronic disease: How nutrition has evolved Adapting nutrition intervention studies to demonstrate health impact.   Learn [...]
10 February 2023

Live event / Working with Observers in Codex - 21 October, 2022 (13:00-15:00 CEST)

With CAC45 beginning on 21 November this two hour event for Codex Observers will explore how they can play an active role in the Codex Alimentarius Commission. Panel discussions will explore current issues on the Codex agenda. Participants will also learn how their work with Codex is of mutual benefit and how Observers can ensure they are best represented and involved in the work of international food safety standard setting. With guests from UN agencies, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations, spanning the [...]
18 October 2022

ISDI event on food additives in infant formula - 19 April 2022

ISDI – the International Special Dietary Foods Industries, a Codex Observer, is holding an event on 19 April 2022 from 15.00 to 16.30 CEST, entitled ‘Food Additives in Infant Formula – A journey through the technological need and evaluation of safety’. The event will consider the Codex process for, and principles behind, authorizing the use of additives in infant formula. The event is open to Codex Members and delegates, particularly those from CCNFSDU and CCFA.   Learn more Visit the ISDI website for details Registration     [...]
05 April 2022

Codex Chairperson on shared goals of Codex and GFSI

Speaking at the opening session of The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Conference taking place from 29 to 31 March 2022 in Barcelona, Spain, the Chairperson of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, Steve Wearne (United Kingdom) called on industry to join with Codex in advocating for the adoption and deployment of Codex standards. “Together, we have an opportunity to further develop and foster food safety practices throughout the entire food system – from shaping policies to incentivizing private enterprises in traditional and [...]
30 March 2022

Observing Codex / webinar highlights strong commitment of Observers to Codex standard setting

A webinar held on 20 October 2021 demonstrated to an online audience of over 150 how Codex Observers can contribute to the work of the Codex Alimentarius Commission. Hosted by the Codex Secretariat as part of a series of live online events, the webinar was an opportunity for a wide variety of observer organizations to explain and discuss how they contribute to Codex work. The 240 Observers in Codex are made up of UN agencies, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations (from [...]
21 September 2021

Live event on Observer organizations to strengthen understanding of Codex

A webinar open to both Members and Observers will take place on Monday 20 September 2021 from 12:00 to 14:00 CEST and will provide an opportunity to engage with a variety of Codex observer organizations from the 240 currently accredited to the Codex Alimentarius Commission. “We see on a daily basis the contribution experts from observer organizations bring to Codex meetings and working groups and we are fully aware that without their contributions Codex may not be in a position to [...]
07 September 2021

Two observers on working virtually and the value of global standards

The International Fruit and Vegetable Juice Association (IFU) represents producers, associations, traders, machinery and packaging producers and public and private scientific institutions from around the world. As a worldwide association, IFU has faced similar challenges to Codex when it comes to arranging meetings. “Unfortunately, our physical meetings and events were all cancelled so we moved to remote meeting. It’s not the same so we try and have shorter sessions … at different times to try and enable all time zones [...]
28 September 2020

Outgoing DG Azevêdo strengthened Codex-WTO collaboration

Roberto Azevêdo was the sixth Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), serving from September 2013. In May 2020 he announced that he would be stepping down on 31 August of this year. Codex food safety standards, guidelines and codes of practice are designated by the WTO as the international benchmarks under its Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Agreement. Codex Chairperson Guilherme Da Costa, Brazil, said: “I had the privilege of working directly with Ambassador Roberto Azevêdo from 2010 to 2012 when I [...]
31 August 2020

1 June World Milk Day / Helping a vibrant dairy sector produce safe and quality milk

On World Milk Day, it is important to recognize the role of international guidelines and standards processes behind the production of safe milk and dairy products. Since 1903, the International Dairy Federation (IDF) has provided a mechanism for the dairy sector to reach global consensus on how to help feed the world with safe and sustainable dairy products. IDF’s member countries represent the entire dairy chain, including governments, farmers, processors, traders, input providers and academia: approximately 75% of global milk [...]
01 June 2020
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Observers in Codex

This video highlights the role observer organisations play in Codex.