NIGERIA – The Food Group Division of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has conducted a training program aimed at enhancing the understanding of Codex’s structure and functioning among its staff.

The training was designed to build the capacity of SON’s Food Group Division in Codex standards-setting processes and procedures, ensuring they can effectively carry out their responsibilities related to Codex Committees.

Mr. Yunusa Mohammed, the Head of Food Group and Codex contact point, expressed gratitude for the support provided by the Director-General in approving the allocation of resources for the training.

He outlined the primary objectives of the program, which included improving the technical capacity of SON staff in Codex-related activities and enhancing Nigeria’s participation in Codex fora.

Mr. Mohammed emphasized the critical importance of Codex standards in international trade. These standards have received global recognition and serve as benchmarks recognized by the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures (SPS Agreements) in trade disputes.

Understanding and effectively participating in Codex activities is vital for promoting and safeguarding international trade in food products.

The Food Group Head highlighted the role of the National Codex Committee, which provides a platform for Codex activities at the national level.

This committee advises the government on national food safety policies and the implementation strategy for quality in international food trade. It plays a pivotal role in ensuring that Nigeria aligns with Codex standards.

Codex Technical Committees

To facilitate Codex activities at the national level, the National Codex Committee has established more than 18 National Codex Technical Committees.

These committees align with the existing committees of the Codex Alimentarius Commission to ensure Nigeria’s participation in international standards development. Some of these committees include those focusing on contaminants in food, food additives, food hygiene, and food labeling.

During the training, participants were made aware of their eligibility to serve as food group representatives on various National Codex Technical Committees. Their roles were clearly defined in their nomination letters.

Additionally, participants resolved to assist others in enrolling on the Codex electronic working group platform, establish a WhatsApp group for continuous improvement and interaction, and engage their colleagues in fulfilling their responsibilities related to Codex committee activities.

The training underscores SON’s commitment to equipping its staff with the knowledge and skills necessary to actively engage in the international Codex standards-setting process and contribute to the nation’s food safety and trade objectives.

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