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Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH)

By Amigos IAS

Why is it in the news?

  • The 7th session of Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH) took place in Kochi, India.

More about the news

  • During this session, quality standards for five spices were finalized, namely small cardamom, turmeric, juniper berry, allspice, and star anise.
  • These standards were then forwarded to the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) for adoption as full-fledged Codex standards.
  • Notably, this session marked the successful implementation of the strategy of grouping spices, a significant achievement for CCSCH.

·       CCSCH was established as one of the Commodity Committees under the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) in 2013.

·       India has been hosting CCSCH since its establishment, and the Spices Board India, operating under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, serves as the Secretariat organization.

·       The term of reference for CCSCH includes elaborating worldwide standards for spices and culinary herbs in their dried and dehydrated state and consulting with international organizations to avoid duplication.


Codex Standards

·       Codex standards encompass various international food texts, such as standards, codes of practice, codes of hygienic practice, guidelines, and other recommendations.

·       These standards are voluntary and do not have a binding effect on national food legislation.

·       However, they serve as essential reference points for countries to develop their own food regulations, ensuring safety, quality, and fairness in food trade.


Codex and WTO

·       The WTO Agreements on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) and on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement) encourage WTO members to harmonize their national regulations with international standards.

·       This harmonization helps facilitate international trade by reducing barriers and promoting consistency in food safety and quality regulations.


Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC)

·       CAC was established jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1963.

·       Its objective is to protect consumer health and ensure fair practices in food trade.

·       CAC conducts its work through various Codex committees, including CCSCH, hosted by different member countries.

·       India has been a member of CAC since 1964, actively participating in its activities and contributing to the development of international food standards.

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