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EU recognizes central role of Codex in facilitating transition to sustainable food systems


At a meeting in Brussels on 21 February 2022, the European Union's Ministers of Agriculture confirmed the EU's commitment to the work of Codex, and underlined the need for sustainability considerations to be given greater prominence in the setting of food safety standards for international trade. In the conclusions approved at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council, Ministers recognised the central role of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) in facilitating the transition to sustainable food systems and reaffirmed the EU's determination to maintain fair trade practices and health-protective standards. They also underlined the EU's willingness to explore, with its partners, all pragmatic ways to integrate sustainability considerations into the work of the CAC, in line with the commitments made by its members at international level.

"As a member of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the European Union plays a key role in ensuring high standards for internationally traded food products. It is necessary to add an environmental dimension to these standards, in order to successfully make the transition to sustainable food systems," said Julien Denormandie, French Minister for Agriculture and Food (pictured above).

In its conclusions, the Council recognised the essential work of Codex in ensuring that food products meet the highest possible safety standards. However, it recognised that Codex must evolve to meet recent developments, including increased environmental challenges and changing consumer expectations regarding health, food and nutrition. Ministers also asked the CAC to improve the coordination of standardization work between international and intergovernmental organisations.

The Council also emphasized the contribution made by the EU and its Member States in providing scientific expertise in the framework of the expert committees that support the work of the CAC, and invited EU Member States to continue this support.


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Download final text of the Council conclusions


Photo credit © Secrétariat général des affaires européennes