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Codex Trust Fund / East African Community meeting highlights the value of Codex texts


By Ms. Sylvia KIRABO, Head of Public Relations and Marketing, Uganda National Bureau of Standards

As part of the Codex Trust Fund (CTF) Group project currently being implemented in five Countries of the East African Community (EAC), a regional validation meeting was held in Mombasa, Kenya, from 15th to 17th of November 2023. The meeting, with participants from Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, South Sudan and Uganda, focused on the use and implementation of the Code of Practice for the Prevention and Reduction of Mycotoxin Contamination in Cereals (CXC 51-2003) and the Guideline for the Design of Control Measures for Street-Vended Foods (Africa) (CXG 22R-1997).

Cereals and street vended foods are an important part of the diets of the local communities in the EAC region, although they can pose potential food safety related risks. At the same time, these products have also a huge economic value for the population, with many people engaged along the food chain. For these reasons, governments, through their National Standards Bodies (NSBs), are raising awareness among all stakeholders across the food chain including industry operators, policy makers, traders, and consumers, on their roles and responsibilities in the implementation of food standards and their connections to agriculture, public health and trade.

Participating in the first part of the meeting which presented and discussed the simplified draft Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials, Mr. Hamisi Williams, FAO Kenya Deputy Country Representative, stressed the important role food standards can play in transforming agrifood systems and called upon authorities within the EAC region to support the implementation of Codex standards within their respective countries.

“Agrifood systems transformation is very important: the majority of food waste and food loss cases in our region is due to low uptake of food standards and this is why we should all support efforts geared towards strengthening the implementation of Codex activities” – said Mr Williams.

In the wake of the current increase in counterfeited and low-quality products on the local market, simplified and well-illustrated IEC material on key Codex standards will facilitate public education programmes, stakeholder capacity-building initiatives and promote consumer awareness and vigilance. Information, education, communication and training are among the main components of a functional national food control system and this effort contributes to the broader objectives of food safety.

Codex standards have emerged as a promising solution to promote effective implementation of food safety regulations in the EAC region and to improve farmer and consumer practices that contribute to better food safety, nutrition and security.


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In the news: East African Community & Codex Trust Fund food safety workshop builds collaboration with food business operators

Codex Trust Fund


Photo credit © UNBS