CCGA Celebrates 60 years of Codex on World Food Safety Day
Today, on World Food Safety Day, Canadian Canola Growers Association celebrates Codex Alimentarius’ 60th anniversary and its central role in driving global food safety and security. Its array of standards, guidelines, and principles protect consumers, inform farmers’ decisions, and facilitated US $2,140 billion in global agriculture trade in 2021 (WTO World Trade Statistical Review 2022).
Codex standards are at work in the canola fields of the Canadian Prairies. Underpinned by scientific rigour and assessment, Codex lays out requirements for growing safe, high-quality food and facilitating market access. A wide range of standards serve as a foundation for global food safety, covering categories such as contaminants, pesticide residues, biotechnology and nutrition and labelling.
With 90 per cent of Canadian canola exported, clear and consistent food safety rules are integral to Canadian farmers’ livelihoods. A patchwork of standards across markets adds risk and uncertainty at the farm gate, and as agriculture evolves to respond to a larger and more diverse population, this complexity will only increase over time.
Codex plays an important role in bringing technology and innovation to the farm. These two key accelerators were identified by the Food Systems Summit as drivers for system transformation and by FAO’s Science and Innovation Strategy as a necessity to achieve food security. The standards give farmers confidence that they will not lose market access when they adopt the new technology needed to adapt to new and evolving challenges such as disease, plant pests and climate change.
With 189 members, Codex is an important global body. As we look ahead to the next 60 years, Canadian canola farmers support a strong, effective, and well-resourced global standard-setting body and encourage Member States to incorporate Codex standards nationally.
Past Chair, International Agri-Food Network and President & CEO, Canadian Canola Growers Association