GLOBAL – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has disclosed that over 80 percent of Codex member countries express satisfaction with the international food safety guidelines.
This significant finding stems from the inaugural survey conducted to assess the use and impact of Codex Alimentarius texts, showcasing the global approval of these vital food safety standards.
The Codex Alimentarius, a collection of international food standards adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, has long been a cornerstone of ensuring food safety across borders.
To comprehensively gauge the effectiveness and reach of these standards, the Secretariat, in collaboration with the FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO), initiated a meticulous evaluation.
This survey, undertaken as part of the Codex Strategic Plan 2020–2025, delved into the accessibility, relevance, and credibility of Codex standards.
The 2022 survey, which focused on key Codex texts including standards for contaminants, food hygiene, food labeling, and essential nutrient addition, elicited responses from 98 out of 189 Codex member countries.
These nations unanimously acknowledged the pivotal role Codex texts play as a foundation for their food legislation, policies, regulations, programs, and practices.
Interestingly, 52 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) reported a substantial impact, utilizing Codex standards to bolster their legislation, control systems, and educational curricula.
In contrast, 46 high-income nations, already equipped with established food control systems, acknowledged the continuous relevance of Codex texts.
Despite the positive reception, the survey revealed some of the existing challenges faced by Codex members.
Areas needing attention include the need to enhance awareness of Codex texts among national stakeholders, prioritize capacity building and training, improve the dissemination of Codex standards, foster ongoing communication and collaboration, and allocate more resources to ensure effective implementation.
Looking ahead, the Codex Secretariat is committed to refining the survey framework for future assessments.
They will focus on validating the survey methodology, measuring the impact of Codex texts on international trade, fortifying evaluation partnerships, and sustaining efficient stakeholder communication.
These efforts aim to fortify Codex Alimentarius as a robust, adaptable, and universally accepted framework for ensuring the safety and quality of the world’s food supply.