By Benjamin Flowers
This week, stakeholders from the food industry gathered in Belmopan for a sensitization workshop on the CODEX Alimentarius Commission, the international body established to establish standards and best practices on food trade.
The two-day workshop took place at the George Price Center on Wednesday and Thursday, and gathered consumers, importers, exporters, producers and manufacturers to become familiar with the CODEX Commission’s function and applications.
The workshop was “an effort to enhance the effectiveness of the National CODEX Committee,” said Jose Trejo, Director of the Belize Bureau of Standards. “There is an urgent need to establish sub-committees which will comprise both public and private sector representatives”, Trejo continued.
The Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS), Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA), the Ministry of Health the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation and Agriculture (IICA) and the Ministerio de Economia, Industria y Comercio MEIC of Costa Rica organized the event.
The Food and Agricultural Organization and World Health Organization established the CODEX Alimentarius Commission in 1963 to develop and harmonize international food standards. The commission creates guidelines and codes of practice to safeguard the health of consumers.
Belize became a member of CODEx in 1992 and has representation to various meetings held by the committee and its subsidiaries. In 2009 Belize established the ad-hoc National CODEx committee.
The workshop will serve to strengthen the committee and its functions.