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

National Technical Codex Committee Structure

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:

  1. Monitoring of the implementation of the Codex Strategic Plan
  2. (Strategic Plan for CCAFRICA 2014 – 2019: Status of implementation)
  3. Proposed draft Regional Standard for Dried Meat
  4. 3 Proposed Draft Regional Standard for fermented cooked cassava based products
  5. Proposed Draft Regional Standard for Shea butter- was approved as a regional standard in July 2017 by CAC
  6. Proposed Draft Regional Standard for Gnetum Spp leaves
  7. Harmonized Food Safety Law for Africa
  8. harmonized Food Safety Law for EAC-CODEX partner states
  9. 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.

National Technical Codex Committee Structure

to be updated…

Codex Kenya Committee

The National Codex Committee is entrusted with the task of corresponding to Codex Alimentrius Commission which is affiliated to the food and Agriculture Organization “FAO” and World Health Organization “WHO” .

This committee comprises of representatives from.

  1. Research centres
  2. Government bodies
  3. Universities
  4. Supervisory bodies
  5. Food manufacturing companies

Along with experienced and production quality and consumer protection associations. National codex committee is affiliated to Codex Alimentarius Commission.

National Technical Codex Committee

What is CODEX?

The Codex Alimentarius or “Food Code” was established by FAO and the World Health Organization in 1963 to develop harmonised international food standards, which protect consumer health and promote fair practices in food trade.

It is about safe, good food for everyone – everywhere.

International food trade has existed for thousands of years but until not too long ago food was mainly produced, sold and consumed locally. Over the last century the amount of food traded internationally has grown exponentially, and a quantity and variety of food never before possible travels the globe today.

The CODEX ALIMENTARIUS international food standards, guidelines and codes of practice contribute to the safety, quality and fairness of this international food trade. Consumers can trust the safety and quality of the food products they buy and importers can trust that the food they ordered will be in accordance with their specifications

  • Biosafety Issue Under KEBS Mandate
  • Focal Contact Details
  • Partners
  • Development of standards for specifications and codes of practice
  • Inspection and monitoring for conformity to the standards
Point of Interaction with other Agencies
  • Member of NBA
  • Member of National Food Safety Coordination Committee
  • Secretariat for Biotechnology Technical Committee (standards development)
  • Secretariat of National Codex Committee
Detection and Screening at Ports of Entry

Inspection and sampling of imports for conformity to standards

Food Safety Assessments

KEBS is involved in the evaluation of food safety assessment data

National Focal point

Chief Executive Officer
National Biosafety Authority (NBA)
Commission for Higher Education
Red Hill Road, Gigiri
P.O. Box 28251-00100,
Nairobi, Kenya.
Telephone: +254 20 2676667
Fax: +254 20 318 249


National Standards Body

Managing Director,
Kenya Bureau of Standards
Popo Road, Off Mombasa Road
P.O Box 54974 00200
Nairobi Kenya.
Telephone: +254 20 605 490 / 605 506 / 6948000
Fax: +254 20 609660


Biosafety Desk Officer

Mrs. Margaret P.W Aleke
Kenya Bureau of Standards
Popo Road, Off Mombasa Road
P.O Box 54974 00200
Nairobi Kenya.

Telephone: +254 20 605 490
/ 605 506 / 6948000
Fax: +254 20 609660,or

  • Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
  • National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA)
  • Pest Control Products Board (PCPB)
  • International Service for Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA)
  • Department of Veterinary Services (DVS)
  • Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS)
  • Program for Biosafety Systems (PBS)