The Codex Alimentarius Commission, established by FAO and WHO in 1963 develops harmonised international food standards, guidelines and codes of practice to protect the health of the consumers and ensure fair practices in the food trade (Codex). For more information about how this food safety programme came about, please click here.
WHY CODEX IS IMPORTANT
Codex is important because the food safety policies developed are considered international best practice and most countries will implement these, helping to create a level playing field for trade between countries. This means it is critical that the policies developed at Codex are appropriate for the Australian situation.
SAFEFISH TECHNICAL INPUT
SafeFish coordinates the production of technical advice in conjunction with and on behalf of industry to Codex Australia. This advice is then used by the Australian delegations to assist in representing Australia's position at Codex meetings. The process that SafeFish undertakes to elicit this advice is detailed below:
- Scoping issues of relevance to the Australian seafood sector from the Codex agenda of upcoming meetings
- Eliciting feedback from industry and technical experts on high priority draft Codex papers associated with the Codex agenda
- Developing a draft SafeFish technical brief on key agenda items
- Providing the draft SafeFish briefs to industry and expert stakeholders for review, additions and comment as well as incorporating this where possible/feasable
- Liaising with Codex Australia and Department of Agriculture on the brief and incorporating government feedback
- Discussing the SafeFish briefs and any unresolved issues at the Codex Panel meeting
- Finalising the briefs and submitting to Codex Australia.
- Whilst standards, guidelines and codes of practice produced by Codex are not legally binding, they provide a template for laws and are used by the World Trade Organization (WTO) as an agreed benchmark in global trade disputes.
For access to any of the technical briefs that have been prepared, please contact the SafeFish secretariat.