Is the Codex system fit for the future?
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
World Health Organization (WHO)
Time: Friday, 20. January 2023, 09:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Languages: English, German
2023 represents the 60th anniversary of the Codex Alimentarius Commission and the 75th anniversary of one of its parent organizations, the World Health Organization. A year when carbon emissions are forecast to hit record levels, the date set for achieving the SDGs is only round the corner and we are in the midst of understanding what food system transformation will really look like. With such huge challenges it is clear that collaboration is essential. But our global mechanisms for collaboration of which Codex is one were established in the last century to address 20th century problems. Now they need to be fit for purpose for addressing the huge challenges of the twenty first century.
Codex is both a process and a result bringing together 188 Member countries, 1 Member organization and over 240 Observers to work together to develop standards that aim to ensure food is safe and of expected quality. This is a key contributor to food security as “if it is not safe it is not food”. Codex works through technical committees hosted by its Members and through the Codex Alimentarius Commission which has the final say on all standards. Work has moved from physical to virtual and now to hybrid. While the Codex mandate to protect the health of consumers and to ensure fair practices in the food trade is as important as ever, in a rapidly changing world with growing demands for various forms of assurances for food production (sustainability, animal welfare, One Health, nutrition etc) are both the processes used and the results fit for the future? Is the system flexible enough to adapt itself? Are Codex Members willing to see it change? What needs to change and what can stay?
This session will bring together representatives from the areas of standard setting, science, trade and industry to address these questions and debate what is needed to ensure an intergovernmental body like Codex can be sufficiently flexible to adapt to twenty first century demands and contribute to a sustainable food system for the future.
Key topics: One Health, SDGs, Codex Alimentarius, WTO, Food Safety, Food Security
He is a specialist in food safety matters currently working as Director of CERES BCA, biosafety and food quality services, and as President of the Chilean Food Protection Corporation. He works as an international consultant for a range of international and UN organizations and for various governments and companies in Latin America.
Michel previously worked in the Chilean Agency for Food Quality and led Codex work chairing the FAO/WHO Coordinating Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Michel was an adviser in the cabinet of the Ministers of Agriculture. He has held leadership and teaching positions at several universities and coordinated international cooperation projects.
He is currently Visiting Professor at the Nagasaki University, advisor to Aeon Co. Ltd. and a member of the Steering Committee of the Global Food Safety Initiaitve.
Her previous roles include leading the Food Science and Risk Assessment teams responsible for providing scientific and technical advice to the Minister and to underpin domestic and international food regulations.
Jenny has led the New Zealand delegation to two Codex committees and chaired the global work on the review of the Codex standard for Follow up Formula.
Honors and awards
• Receives the Crans Montana Forum Prix de la Fondation
• The Government of Brazil bestows the honorific Order of Rio Branco
• The Universidade Aberta in Lisbon confers the Honoris Causa doctorate for her work in global sustainable development
• Named “Woman of the Year” at the commemoration of the 2018 Women Diplomats Day in Portugal
• Receives the Order of Niger for her distinguished service to the field of agriculture
Tom Heilandt has been the Secretary of the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission since 2014. He joined the Secretariat in 2005 as Senior Officer responsible for communication. From 1994-2005 he worked in the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in Geneva first in the secretariat for international recommendations and agreements on the transport of dangerous goods by road and later as Secretary of the Working Party on Agricultural Quality Standards. Previous private sector work experiences include chemical industry and enterprise consulting. Tom is a German citizen and holds degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Düsseldorf.