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Codex Observers

At the heart of the Codex mandate are the core values of collaboration, inclusiveness, consensus building and transparency. Governmental and non-governmental, public and private organizations alike play a vital role in ensuring Codex texts are of the highest quality and based on sound science.

Codex would have little authority in the field of international standard setting if it did not welcome and acknowledge the valuable contributions made by observers. Expert technical bodies, industry and consumer associations contribute to the standard-setting process in a spirit of openness, collaboration and transparency.

Intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can apply for observer status in Codex in order to attend and put forward their views at every stage of the standard-setting process.

Currently the Codex Alimentarius Commission has: 211 Codex Observers - 48 IGOs, 147 NGOs, 16 UN.


Observer News

Observer organizations gain prominence on Codex website

? A dedicated section on the Codex website, now highlights activities of Observer organizations. In addition to front-page news articles and features, information on how to apply for observer status ?and details of all current Observers is available. Currently, there are 229 Codex Observers – of which 57 are intergovernmental organizations, 156 nongovernmental organizations and 16 UN agencies. Food safety is a shared responsibility “Food safety is a shared responsibility, so it is important that governments can interact directly with producers, industry, consumers, [...]
06 May 2019

Removing International Trade Challenges For Ripened Cheeses

Last week, at its 51st session in Jinan China, the Codex Committee on Food Additives (CCFA) adopted the changes needed to harmonise provisions in the 13 Codex Standards for ripened cheeses (Cheddar, Danbo, Gouda, Havarti, Edam, Samso, Emmental, Tilsiter, Saint Paulin, Provolone, Camembert, Brie and Coulommiers), removing an international trade challenge for exports of ripened cheeses. This is an important decision that will have a positive impact on the dairy sector. One of the major challenges for manufacturers, importers and exporters [...]
04 April 2019

Webinar addressing food safety in a nuclear emergency

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), is holding a webinar on “Food Safety in a Nuclear or Radiological Emergency” on 23 October 2018 at 11:00-14:30 UTC. The web-based discussion aims to help national experts be prepared in case of an emergency involving a significant release of radioactive material into the environment that makes water, local produce, milk from grazing animals and other foods unsafe for consumption. The IAEA safety standards call for [...]
19 October 2018

Codex featured at the World Dairy Summit

Tom Heilandt, Codex Secretary, and Professor Yong Ho Park, Chairperson of the Codex Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance, highlighted Codex food standards as panellists in two different sessions of the 2018?International Dairy Federation (IDF) World Dairy Summit in Daejeon, Korea, this week. “Food is more than just eating, but comfort,” Heilandt said in the keynote speech of the session on food safety. “We tend to take its safety for granted. Food is fragile. That’s why we need to work together to [...]
19 October 2018

ePing: a tool to discover changes in trading partners’ product requirements

Staying abreast of the evolving regulatory landscape affecting the food trade can be a challenge. Yet it is vital for both public and private sector stakeholders to find out in a timely manner when changes are on their way. This is where ePing can help. ePing is of potential interest to Codex Members and Observers -government agencies, standardizing bodies, producers, exporters, importers, service providers, international organizations, research institutes and NGOs. World Trade Organization (WTO) member governments are required to notify other [...]
24 September 2018

Observer spotlight: Consumers International

Consumers International represents the voice of consumers in international policy-making forums and the global marketplace, including in the Codex Alimentarius Commission as an Observer organization. The vast partnership – with more than 200 organizations in more than 100 countries – strives to ‘drive change in the global marketplace on a scale that cannot be achieved at a national level alone, to ensure consumers are treated safely, fairly and honestly’. The Codex Secretariat recently spoke with Anna Glayzer, who is an [...]
11 September 2018

Observer spotlight: International Dairy Federation

The International Dairy Federation (IDF), a longstanding Codex Observer organization, now has more than 1 200 dairy experts dedicated to helping ‘nourish the world with safe and sustainable dairy’, a mission that aligns well with ‘protecting health and facilitating trade’. IDF has been contributing to the development of standards for the dairy sector since 1903. With member countries representing the entire dairy chain – from farmers and processors to research centers and academia – IDF has served as technical advisor [...]
27 July 2018

Organizations discuss food integrity and authenticity

Two side events with international governmental and non-governmental organizations International governmental and non-governmental organizations agreed that Codex is the ideal forum to address issues related to food fraud and authenticity on the margins of the 41st Codex Alimentarius Commission. During the side sessions moderated by Carlos Laorden of El País, participants reported the need to speak the same language on food fraud, to define an agreed terminology and that steps should be taken to mitigate risks associated with deliberate tampering and substitution, [...]
04 July 2018

Comment on the Codex Committee on Contaminants in Food 12th Session

Dr Martin Slayne -? International Council of Grocery Manufacturers Associations Global Head Scientific & Regulatory Affairs The Hershey Company? The Codex Committee on Contaminants in Food (CCCF) provides a global forum for governments to harmonize regulatory management measures, based on common science, risk assessment and best practices. At the recent 12th meeting of the Committee, good progress was made in some areas, although a key observation when discussing the setting of Maximum Levels for contaminants was an increasing pattern of country [...]
26 March 2018

Observers in Codex

This video highlights the role observer organisations play in Codex.

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