BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON CODEX AND CCAFRICA
The Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) is the Joint Food Standards Program of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) charged with the mandate of developing food and feed international codex standards for safeguarding the health of consumers and ensuring fair trade practices in food.
The word Codex is an acronym referring to Food Law that governs the development of food standards at international level. The international standards set by the Codex are referenced (recognized) by the World Trade Organization (WTO). The CAC is an intergovernmental organization that has its headquarter in Rome, Italy. CAC has six regional coordinating committees with the FAO/ WHO Africa Region Codex Coordinating Committee (CCAFRICA) as one of them.
Kenya became a member of Codex Alimentarius Commission[CACA] in 1969 and was housed by Public Health, MOPH. Kenya, Cote d’lvoire, Senegal, Cameroon and Nigeria joined CAC at the same time Other Africa countries which became members of CAC before Kenya are Uganda and Burundi in 1964,Madagascar, Ghana and Senegal-1966.
In 1983 Kenya coordinated CCAFRICA held in Nairobi city. In 1985,Kenya coordinated the second meeting of CCAFRICA in Nairobi.During these time KNCCP was responsible for promoting coordination of Codex food standards work undertaken by CAC within the region by Kenya.
In 2007 September, KNCC was launched under Ministry of Industrialization, chaired by KEBS managing director with senior officer being the secretary. This was by the KNCC consensus
IMPORTANCE OF CODEX STANDARDS TO THE COUNTRY AND EAC-REGION
Kenya make reference when harmonizing national food standards with the international codex standards.
EAC- partner states take into consideration codex standards where there is trade dispute.
while harmonizing EAC standards for trade and consumer health protection, Codex standards are made reference to where there is no consensus.
Currently Kenya has adopted over 200 Codex standards to facilitate trade and to protect the health of consumers.
CHALLENGES FOR PRIVATE SECTORS INVOLVEMENT IN CODEX COMMITTEES
Very few private sectors commitment to international meetings.
Inadequate sensitization of codex activities in private sectors.
Only attend company relevant codex meeting but not horizontal/general codex meetings.
Defer most meetings to mother companies leaving regional representatives out.
Release of data is a problem due to trust/confidence
ACHIEVEMENTS SINCE 2007
Kenya has greatly benefited from the Codex process in the following:
KEBS has adopted over 200 Codex standards for enforcement.
Kenya participates in Joint Expert Committee for Food Additives in Food( FAO/WHO JECFA)
Kenya participates in Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residues in Food (FAO/WHO JMPR)
Kenya initiated the revision of natural mineral water-Code of practice and asked JECFA to revise the safe limits of certain food Additives in flavoured drinks used in Kenya
Kenya participated as vice Chair in Minor Crops pWG
Kenya participated in eWG and pWG in Antimicrobial resistance, Arsenic in paddy and milled rice, Aflatoxin in cassava, offals among others
Kenya participation in Codex technical food standard development has increased from 3%-80% since 2004.
Private sectors have been great supportive in facilitation of Codex food standard development.
Kenya became CCAFRICA regional representative from 2008 to 2011 thereafter took over to coordinate CCAFRICA from 2011- 2019
CCAFRICA WORK IN PROGRESS
As the Codex Contact Point for Africa , Kenya link the Africa continent with Codex Secretariat in Rome to coordinate and facilitate the Codex Standard programme for the interest of Africa Continent as follows:
- Monitoring of the implementation of the Codex Strategic Plan
- (Strategic Plan for CCAFRICA 2014 – 2019: Status of implementation)
- Proposed draft Regional Standard for Dried Meat
- 3 Proposed Draft Regional Standard for fermented cooked cassava based products
- Proposed Draft Regional Standard for Shea butter- was approved as a regional standard in July 2017 by CAC
- Proposed Draft Regional Standard for Gnetum Spp leaves
- Harmonized Food Safety Law for Africa
- harmonized Food Safety Law for EAC-CODEX partner states
- All Codex Alimentarius Commission Commodities
Kenya will be hosting the CCAFRICA-23rd international Codex food standard development in Nairobi for its final term to discuss the above mentioned documents for one week 2nd- 6th September 2019.