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Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs to Hold its 4th Session In Kerala

In Agriculture
January 22, 2019

The Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH) will hold its 4th session in Thiruvananthapuram this month to deliberate on draft standards for selected spices and herbs and facilitate adoption of more standards that would eliminate trade barriers and strengthen and harmonise the global food sector without compromising on safety.

The five-day event, to be held at Hotel Leela Kovalam from January 21-25, will brainstorm on the draft standards for oregano, basil, ginger, garlic, chilli pepper and paprika, nutmeg, saffron and cloves, which are in the form of reports of Electronic Working Groups (eWGs) established by the previous session held at Chennai in February 2017.

Kerala Governor Justice (retd) P Sathasivam will inaugurate the session at 9:30 am on January 21 while Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, will deliver the presidential address.. Rita Teaotia, (retd), Chairperson, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), will deliver the keynote address. Devendra Kumar Singh, Principal Secretary, Agriculture, Kerala; Subhash Vasu, Chairman, Spices Board; and
Dr M. K. Shanmuga Sundaram, Secretary, Spices Board, are among the dignitaries who will also address the inaugural session.

“The upcoming session is expected to adopt the draft standards for selected spices and herbs and also pave the way for adoption of more standards that will remove trade barriers, ensure greater transparency towards fixing global quality standards for spices and culinary herbs and strengthen the global food sector without compromising on safety,” Sundaram said.

Two new work proposals — draft standards for turmeric and small cardamom — will also be taken up for deliberations during this session to harmonise global trade in these two much in demand spices. Set up in 1963, the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) is an intergovernmental body established jointly by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), within the framework of the Joint Food Standards Programme to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair practices in the food trade.

To develop and expand worldwide standards for spices and culinary herbs, and to consult with other international organisations in the standards development process, CCSCH was formed in 2013 with support of more than a hundred countries with India as the host country and Spices Board as the Secretariat for organising the sessions of the committee.

It has so far conducted three sessions — Kochi in 2014, Goa in 2015 and Chennai in 2017 – in the direction of improving and harmonising standards by taking specific steps, building capacities and ensuring food safety and fair trade practices in spices sector. In the previous three sessions, the committee succeeded in getting approval of the Codex Alimentarius Commission for three standards: black, white and green pepper, cumin and thyme.