The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the National Codex Committee (NCC) have presented and disseminated the revised National Codex Committee Procedural Manual towards creating effective, efficient policies and strategies to eliminate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition in the country.
The NCC is saddled with the responsibility of implementing the standards of the Codex Alimentarius Commission which was established in 1963 to develop food standards, guidelines and related texts such as codes of practice under the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme.
Speaking at the 1-Day Sensitisation Workshop for High Level Policy and Decision Makers and the Public Presentation of National Codex Committee Procedural Manual, FAO Country Representatives to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Fred Kafeero noted that the organisation believes that ensuring the supply of safe, quality and nutritious foods is as important as ensuring the availability of foods and food standardisation.
Kafeero, who was represented by Assistant Representative, Mr David Fehintola, said poor quality foods do not ensure food security.
He stated that the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), was jointly established in 1963 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Since the inception of CAC, he noted that the FAO has worked with WHO in the development of international food standards, guidelines, and codes of practices to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair trade practices in the food trade using the principles of risk analysis and scientific advice provided by joint FAO/WHO expert bodies and consultations.
“FAO has been supporting the National Codex Committee (NCC) in Nigeria, which has members from all the MDAS and the Private sector through the execution of the Codex Trust Fund two activities with a focus on the implementation of the Codex Strategic Plan 2020-2025”, he added.
Also, the Director General of Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Farouk Salim said the review of the NCC Procedural Manual was necessary to keep abreast with the growth of Codex activities over time, incorporate major changes, improve and strengthen Codex structure in Nigeria.
Salim, who was represented by Professor Olobayo Kunle noted that the National Codex Committee Procedural Manual was first prepared in line with CAC procedural manual published in 2002, with further revisions in 2007 and 2012 to guide the activities and improve functions of all the stakeholders involved for effective operations.
He said the overall objective of the activity is to sensitize public decision-makers and competent authorities on the need to engage more in the national codex and to regularly provide all the support to increase its actions in favour of food safety at national level.