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First virtual session sees new Codex spices standards ready for adoption


The first ever virtual session of a Codex commodity committee saw record participation with more than 60 countries taking part over the six days from 20 to 29 April 2021. The Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH) will be sending four draft standards, oregano, ginger, cloves and basil, for final adoption by the Commission.

The committee is hosted by India. Chairperson Dr.M.R.Sudharshan explained the importance of adopting these standards. “It means a lot to the producing countries, particularly from developing economies. These could be incorporated into their national standards and facilitate their trade. I am particularly happy about the oregano standard, which was stranded for a long time in the committee.”

Egypt led the work on the development of the proposed draft standard for dried basil. Ahmed Elhelw described the key to reaching agreement in the committee as the preparation at the working group stage in cooperation with the national stakeholders and experts. “Finally, after many years of hard work we will get the baby standard out there. It will be an international reference respected worldwide.”

"Robust electronic working group activities, and informal engagements with Member Countries and Observers before and during the meeting," were what helped reached consensus on cloves and ginger said Babajide Jamodu from Nigeria. The adoption of these two standards "will address technical barriers that have been inhibiting the international trade of dried ginger and cloves," he said.

“The dedication, thorough preparation and responsiveness of the Chairperson and the Host Secretariat were key to success,” said Hilde Kruise of the Codex Secretariat. Delegates were committed and results-oriented and demonstrated that they have adapted to a virtual way of working. “CCSCH has set a very good example for how to conduct a successful Codex session virtually, even with such a full agenda.”


Learn more

Read the working drafts of the new standards on the CCSCH5 meeting page.


Article updated 30/4/2021