Dr. Maunganidze added that the Codex Trust Fund Project would, “ensure that consumer health is protected, and Zimbabwean food products are accepted in international markets.”
“In addition, the project aims to widen knowledge and understanding of Codex at national level among key policy makers and influential stakeholders; improve national capacity for developing food standards and regulations based on Codex; increase uptake and use of Codex standards, guidelines, and codes of practice,” added the Codex Focal Point in Zimbabwe, Fredy Chinyavanhu.
The ministry expressed its hope that the project will also improve the conformity and competitiveness of Zimbabwe’s food trade domestically, regionally, and internationally. The ministry thanked FAO and WHO for their support and collaboration in advancing food safety standards in Zimbabwe.
The Codex Alimentarius (Latin for food code) is a collection of internationally adopted food standards and related texts presented in a uniform manner.
Codex Alimentarius Commission was established by the FAO and WHO in 1963 to address consumer protection and fair practices in Food Trade. Zimbabwe became a member of Codex Alimentarius Commission in 1985 and the inception workshop was held to deepen awareness among the different stakeholders and the population in general on Zimbabwe’s successful application for the CTF2 funding.
The project aims to widen knowledge and understanding of Codex at national level among key policy makers and influential stakeholders
Zimbabwe successfully applied for the CTF2 in 2021, “this is the sixth round of funding approved by CTF at global level and first CTF project to be implemented in Zimbabwe,” said Sansan Kambire, Food Safety and Quality Expert FAO Regional Office for Africa – FAO (RAF).
In a speech read on his behalf by the Assistant FAO Representative – Programmes Constance Pepukai, the FAO Subregional Coordinator for Southern Africa and FAO Representative in Eswatini, Lesotho and Zimbabwe, Patrice Talla, congratulated the Government of Zimbabwe for successfully applying for the CTF2. He highlighted the importance of harmonizing food standards, guidelines, and codes of practice to international benchmarks to trade internationally and access markets for high-value products.
Patrice Talla also emphasized the importance of setting up a strong and effective National Codex Committee (NCC) and the Codex Contact Point (CCP) that will be able to provide input at International Food Standards Setting Meetings of Codex.
Ineffective participation of Zimbabwe at Codex was because NCC structures in the country were not strong enough. The Codex Trust Fund 2 (CTF2) was established to make sure that developing countries like Zimbabwe would be able to establish strong and effective NCCs to enable them to competently participate in Codex meetings.
During the second day of the inception workshop, members of the National Codex Alimentarius committee and FAO held a technical working session to inform members of the National Committee on the next steps and project expectations. After comprehensive discussions members of the committee understood the requirements for the successful implementation of the project.
Working together for improved food safety
The implementation of the Codex Trust Fund Project in Zimbabwe will be closely coordinated with the food safety expertise in FAO and WHO to benefit from their roles and experience in building the capacities of developing and transition economy countries in Codex, and with food safety capacity building more broadly.
In his concluding remarks Patrice Talla reiterated the commitment of the FAO country office in Zimbabwe and the Regional Office in Accra to provide necessary technical support during the implementation of the CTF project.
“Helping eliminate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition through improved food safety is one of the key objectives of FAO in Africa. FAO will work closely with the Government of Zimbabwe and other partners to promote new and revised international standards for food safety,” stated Patrice Talla.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of FAO Regional Office for Africa.