Codex Alimentarius Commission in Geneva- Three Codex Standards for Spices (Download PDF)


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The Codex Alimentarius, or “Food Code” is a collection of standards, guidelines and codes of practice adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. The Commission, also known as CAC, is the central part of the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme. Member-countries unanimously approve Codex standards for pepper, cumin and thyme

Codex Alimentarius Commission in Geneva Three Codex for Spices

Codex Alimentarius Commission in Geneva Three Codex for Spices

Codex Alimentarius Commission in Geneva Three Codex for Spices

  • Provides reference points and benchmarks for the member-countries to align their national standards for spices with Codex

Importance for India

  • Recognizes India’s efforts to benchmark global spices trade by adopting three Codex standards for black, white and green pepper, cumin and thyme
  • Pepper, cumin and thyme, spices now included in commodities that with universal standards.
  • Paves way for universal agreement on identifying quality spices in various countries.
  • The member-countries of CAC met in Geneva for its 40th session during July 2017

India’S Efforts

  • India conducted three sessions of Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH) at Kochi (2014), Goa (2015) and Chennai (2017).
  • Chennai session achieved this consensus.
  • Subsequent drafts were adopted by consensus with an overwhelming support from the member-countries.
  • This is only a small victory- number of spices and culinary herbs is very large –109 spices notified in the ISO list, their actual number, as used in various countries much higher.

What is the Codex Alimentarius?

  • Codex Alimentarius, or “Food Code” a collection of standards, guidelines, and codes of practice adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission
  • The Commission or CAC a central part of the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme
  • Established by FAO and WHO to protect consumer health and promote fair practices in food trade.

Benefits of Codex Standards?

  • Ensure that food is safe and can be traded
  • The 188 Codex members negotiated science based recommendations in all areas related to food safety and quality: food hygiene; maximum limits for food additives; residues of pesticides and veterinary drugs; and maximum limits and codes for the prevention of chemical and microbiological contamination.
  • Codex food safety texts are a reference in WTO trade disputes

Spice Board of India

  • Flagship organization to promote Indian spices.
  • Link between the Indian exporters and the importers abroad.

Services for Exporters

  • Maintenance and monitoring of quality of exports
  • Development and implementation of better production methods, through scientific, technological and economic research.
  • Guidance to farmers on getting higher and better quality yields through scientific agricultural practices.
  • Provision of financial and material support to growers.
  • Encouraging organic production and export of spices.
  • Facilitating infrastructure for processing and value addition
  • Registration and licensing of all spice exporters.
  • Assistance for studies and research on better processing practices, foolproof quality management systems, improved grading methods and effective packaging techniques.
  • Production of promotional and educative materials in a variety of media for the benefit of exporters and importers.
  • Brings together international bodies, exporters and policy makers through contact group programmes.
  • Makes India’s presence felt in major international food fairs; conducts food festivals and cooking demonstrations.

Services for Importers

  • Helps importers and exporters in establishing mutual contact.
  • Identifies competent supply sources for specific requirements of importers
  • Processes and forwards foreign trade enquiries to reliable exporters.
  • Organizes a common platform for interaction between Indian exporters and international buyers through the World Spice Congress.
  • Examines each complaint from importers for corrective and preventive action.
  • Spearheads the quality improvement programme for Indian spices.
  • Manages a comprehensive and up-to-date data bank for exporters and importers.

- Published/Last Modified on: August 9, 2017


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