FIA Secures Voice for Asia’s Food Industry on Global Food Code

Region’s first industry representative granted observer status of Codex Alimentarius Commission

Singapore, 13 July 2016 – Food Industry Asia (FIA) today announced that it has been granted observer status by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex) or “Food Code” – providing Asia’s first industry-wide representation on international food standards.

Codex was formed in 1963 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to develop harmonised international food standards to protect consumer health and promote fair trading practices. Its standards provide a basis for national legislation across 180 Member Countries, and it currently has more than 240 Observers.

Mr Matt Kovac, Executive Director at FIA, said the appointment will enable FIA to address knowledge gaps that exist between Codex and the region’s food industry, and enhance food standards across the region that benefit society as a whole.

“The food industry across Asia has needs that sometimes differ from our global counterparts and for the first time, we have the opportunity to share our experience and insights to represent these in global food standards,” said Mr Kovac.

The priority areas FIA will actively look to engage with Codex on include food hygiene, contaminants, nutrition, food labelling, and food additives.

Mr Kovac said, “Involvement with Codex on key issues will strengthen our ability to help drive industry change and compliance across Asia, which will ultimately benefit all consumers.”

He concluded, “We are honoured to be granted observer status, and we look forward to supporting Codex to boost food safety, nutrition, and trade practices in Asia.”

As an observer, FIA is entitled to attend and actively participate in dialogue sessions of the Codex Alimentarius Commission and its various working committees, receive all meeting documentation and information, and provide industry submissions.

FIA will commence participation in September in New Delhi, India, at the 20th Session of the FAO/WHO Coordinating Committee for Asia – the first meeting of the year for the region.

The appointment builds on FIA’s regional work in health and nutrition, trade and regulatory harmonisation, and food safety, which includes holding a seat on the governing council of the Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP), convened by the World Bank.

FIA works with the GFSP and its partners from the public and private sectors to strengthen food safety systems and build capacity among small- and medium-sized companies throughout the supply chain, particularly in Asia, by accelerating the transfer of knowledge and global best practices.