Fiji set to host global Codex meeting
Fiji is set to host the 16th Session of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and World Health Organization Codex Committee for North America and South West Pacific (CCNASWP) meeting, scheduled to be held from January 30 to February 3, 2023 in Nadi.
The Fiji Government through the Ministry of Agriculture was appointed as Regional Coordinator for North America and South West Pacific Region in 2019. The position is currently held by Fiji’s Permanent Secretary for Agriculture following the handover of the position from the Government of Vanuatu.
To support its role as Regional Coordinator for CCNASWP, the Ministry of Agriculture has signed an agreement with the Australia and New Zealand supported Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Plus Program (PHAMA Plus) to boost preparations for the upcoming meeting.
The CCNASWP brings together member countries in North America and the South West Pacific every two years to discuss national and regional issues related to food safety and food trade. These include Canada, USA, Australia, Cook Islands, FSM, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, NZ, PNG, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu.
The Permanent Secretary for Agriculture, Dr Vinesh Kumar said that the upcoming CCNASWP agenda will include key items such as progressing the draft regional standard for fermented noni juice and implementation of the Codex Regional Kava Standard.
“As regional coordinator, we will continue supporting work on these regional standards to strengthen participation of the region in Codex Alimentarius in general. These initiatives support improvements to our regional kava and noni products to a significant level of Codex standards and ensure that exports are safe and of the expected quality required by international markets,” Dr Kumar said.
“We’re pleased to be collaborating with PHAMA Plus to prepare for this important CCNASWP meeting, drawing on technical and regional support to build and maintain the capacity of member countries to productively participate in, and benefit from, Codex processes including the development and use of food safety standards.”
The Codex Alimentarius or the ‘Food Code’ is a set of standards developed by FAO and WHO to help nations protect their consumer health and ensure fair practices in trade.
A key part of PHAMA Plus support will be the analysis of fermented noni fruit juice samples as required to progress the draft regional standard. Support will be provided to cover the costs related to sending (freight) suitable samples from interested member countries to Samoa, as well as for the testing to be conducted by the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa (SROS). This will also include supporting the Ministry of Agriculture, as the CCNASWP Regional Coordinator, to work with kava producing nations in the region to implement the Codex Regional Kava Standard.
“Fiji is well versed with coordinating regional issues and bringing them to the attention of the Codex Alimentarius Commission. PHAMA Plus will commit to supporting the CCNASWP Regional Coordinator in terms of mentoring and capacity building and logistical support for national Codex contact points,” said PHAMA Plus Program Manager Biosecurity, Quality and Standards, Lennard Powell.
“The CCNASWP will also provide an opportunity to mutually support and progress regional strategies that show the commitment from all countries on the work of Codex and food safety, especially in our region.”
More details on the FAO/WHO Coordinating Committee for North America and the South West Pacific: https://www.fao.org/fao-who-codexalimentarius/meetings/detail/en/?meeting=CCNASWP&session=16
For enquiries, please contact PHAMA Plus Program Manager Biosecurity, Quality and Standards Lennard Powell on email: email@example.com