Training for Policy Makers on the Development of National Food Standards and Linkages to Codex

Mr. Raj Rajasekar, Vice Chairperson of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) and Senior Programme Manager of the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) New Zealand visited Samoa for the workshop and Codex Trust Fund twinning activity, held in Savaii.
The MPI was selected as the twinning partner for the Samoa National Codex Committee (SNCC) to allow SNCC to learn from MPI.
Mr. Pulotu Lyndon Chu-Ling, CEO of MCIL, formally opened the workshop and Mr. Raj Rajasekar offered a statement that highlighted Samoa’s historical achievements in Codex and the purpose of his visit.
Dr Annan, an International Expert for Food Safety and Nutrition from FAO Canada, taught the importance, types, and requirements of food standards.
She then broke down the steps involved in developing a new food standard to enhance the knowledge of the SNCC on how to prepare to propose new work and develop a new Codex standard for a food product of national and regional/ international interest for safe consumption and fair trade.
After the formalities and lectures, the participants were given time to provide feedback and ask questions. Participants, including government ministries, state-owned enterprises, and members of the business community also participated in a gap analysis which enabled Mr. Rajasekar to identify areas of improvement within Codex systems in Samoa. The gap analysis marked the first substantial step of the twinning program whereby the SNCC learns from the New Zealand Codex Structures led by MPI New Zealand.
The next steps for the twinning program include a visit by three members of the Samoa National Codex Committee to Wellington, New Zealand where they will take part in a comprehensive training program conducted by MPI NZ and relevant Government Ministries there.
Mr. Rajasekar offered two courtesy visits to the Minister of Commerce, Industry, and Labour and the Officer-in-Charge (OiC) at the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations Sub regional Office for the Pacific Islands (FAO SAP) respectively. CODEX is short for Codex Alimentarius, which means “food code” and is a collection of food standards and related guidelines that are internationally recognized.
Codex standards aim to protect consumer health and promote fair practices in the trade. The adoption of Codex standards by countries is voluntary.
On the 16th of May, as part of the Joint FAO/WHO Codex Trust Fund Project, the Honourable Minister for the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Labour (MCIL) met with the Vice Chairman of the Codex Alimentarius Commission from the MPI through a courtesy visit.
The meeting highlights the Government of Samoa’s commitment to supporting the role of Codex in ensuring food safety systems in Samoa to protect human health and to further facilitate safe food trade.
Through this meeting, the MPI and MCIL conveyed their wish to establish continued collaboration to strengthen and support the Samoa national Codex structures.
This was followed by a courtesy visit to the Officer in Charge at the FAO Sub regional Office for the Pacific. They discussed numerous topics regarding food safety issues as well as solutions to nutrition-related diseases.
All the above-mentioned activities were organized by FAO SAP and MCIL as part of the Codex Trust Fund project, which aims to enhance Samoa’s capacity to utilize and develop Codex standards to strengthen the food safety system.
The Codex Trust Fund project is a global project which was established by FAO and the World Health Organisation.