FAO launches regional campaign on food standards and codes of practice

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The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in collaboration with the Federal Government, has launched a regional awareness campaign on the importance of Codex Alimentarius standards and codes of practice for the safety food sanitation.

The goal is to protect consumer health and ensure fair practices in international food trade by educating key stakeholders on the importance of food safety standards and codes.

A statement signed by FAO Nigeria communications specialist David Tsokar said on Friday that first on the list was Kano State, followed by Lagos State, in which farmers, processors, traders as well as journalists and other key players in the food value chain in Nigeria. participated.

Established by FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure the safety, quality and fairness of the international food trade, the “Food Code” is a set of internationally adopted standards, guidelines and codes of practice by the Codex Alimentarius Commission.

During the sensitization workshop in Kano and Lagos States, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Onakhire, who chairs the National Codex Committee (NCC), highlighted issues of food safety practices participants and advised them to pay attention to quality. and food production and processing standards, to facilitate trade facilitation, particularly in international markets.

Members of the NCC in Nigeria are made up of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Private Sector, All Farmers Association, Research Institutes and Food Industry .

The minister represented on both occasions by John Atanda, the national food safety and quality program coordinator at the ministry, said the government was making conscious efforts to “ensure a secure food supply in Nigeria to support the national economy, trade and tourism in order to contribute to food”. human security and nutrition in order to ensure sustainable social and economic development in the country as well as international food trade”.

Onakhire pointed out that little or no attention was given to the issue of safety practices, quality and standards in food production, processing and trade and that it was high time to get the message across to the basis for greater awareness.

The Director General of the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), Mallam Farouk Salim, stressed the need for greater synergy between regulators, private sector and research institutes to continuously contribute to the efforts aimed at ensuring food security in Nigeria.

He was represented in Kano by Mandatory Assessment Program (MANCAP) Manager Ms. Tosan Akosile and in Lagos by South West Operations Manager Ms. Yeside Akinlabi.

For her part, the Codex Contact Point in Nigeria, Ms. Talatu Ethan, said that with many other countries striving to improve their food systems, there is a need for Nigerian farmers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) also toe the line, “understanding and implementing Codex requirements, in order to avoid problems that may arise from food safety and quality necessities, particularly with regard to export or international trade” .

The FAO Representative to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Fred Kafeero, represented by the Project Focal Point, Ms SaAdiya Haliru, noted that food security is a essential pathway to sustainable food security and can be achieved by establishing food safety control systems that comply with international food standards.

Among the recommendations made during the two workshops were the need to replicate a similar sensitization program at the local level and possibly to have the information, education and communication (IEC) materials (manuals produced by the FAO) in different local languages. for dissemination; and also include journalists among the members of the CNC to contribute effectively to the dissemination of information as well as to raising public awareness of Codex activities.

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