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International food trade standards set in Queensto

International food trade standards set in Queenstown

One of the most influential committees in the setting of standards governing the international trade in food will meet in Queenstown today.

New Zealand is hosting the 8th session of the Codex Committee on Milk and Milk Products from 4–8 February on behalf of the 172 member nations.

Director of the New Zealand Food Safety Authority's Science group Dr Steve Hathaway, who will chair the meeting, says Codex has a commendable reputation for achieving durable and acceptable standards that provide a scientific basis for fair trade and consumer safety throughout the world.

Since the establishment of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) in 1962, the global food trade has expanded and Codex has developed a raft of international standards for its 172 member countries.

"Because there has been an increased focus on international harmonisation through the World Trade Organization, Codex has become more significant and has gained acceptance as the pre-eminent United Nations body for establishing international standards, and norms for food safety and fair practices in food trade.

"Around 50 percent of our exports are food related, and dairy exports such as milk powder, butter and cheese make up nearly a third of total New Zealand exports, so Codex standards in the food area are vitally important to our fast growing economy.

"New Zealand is proud to be hosting this important committee and the agreements that are reached here will have many positive spin-offs for our dairy exporters and new Zealand in years to come," Dr Hathaway says.

ENDS

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