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CCFICS / Workshop underlines Codex role in prevention and control of food fraud


By Scott Mersch
Codex Contact Point, Australia

On 8 February 2023, the Chairperson of the Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems (CCFICS), Nicola Hinder, Australia, and Michelle Catlin, United States of America, the Chairperson of the Electronic Working Group (EWG), along with EWG Co-Chairpersons, delivered a virtual workshop to discuss progress to date on drafting the guidance on the Prevention and Control of Food Fraud. The draft guidance will be considered at Step 4 by CCFICS26 in Hobart, Australia in May 2023. The webinar was well attended by over 200 Codex Members and Observers and provided valuable insights to assist further drafting in the EWG.  

“Food fraud is not a new phenomenon but it is becoming more sophisticated. It is a complex, global, and critically important issue, and I am very proud that CCFICS is leading the way in developing guidance in the context of food safety and fair practices in the food trade,” said Hinder.

The discussions on food fraud began at CCFICS22 in 2016, and the new work proposal on the draft guidance on the prevention and control of food fraud was approved by CAC44 in December 2021. Hinder thanked the chairs and co-chairs of the EWG – United States of America, United Kingdom, China, the European Union and Iran – noting the good progress made on drafting the standard by the EWG and the importance of developing as much consensus as possible to allow for fruitful discussions at the CCFICS26 plenary.  

Catlin took the group through the draft guidance section by section to elicit feedback from the broader Codex membership. “The workshop has proved incredibly helpful in garnering constructive feedback”, she said. “The strong engagement of participants and their willingness to offer alternatives and proposals for compromise has given the EWG plenty to consider over the next short while”.

Hinder reminded participants that the EWG will consider the inputs from the workshop and then provide a final report – also considering feedback from EWG members – which will be published on the CCFICS26 webpage. She encouraged Members and Observers to comment. “I look forward to seeing many of you in attendance at CCFICS26 in Hobart to continue the discussions, or online if you can’t make it physically”, she said.


Learn more

CCFICS26 meeting page

Photo credit ©FAO/Luis Tato

Food fraud can consist of addition, substitution, dilution, counterfeiting, misrepresentation, and concealment. Commodities typically at risk include honey, olive oil, fish, spices (saffron), juice and milk.