Kyrgyzstan promotes importance of international food standards

A 1-day workshop raised awareness among high-level officials in Kyrgyzstan of the importance of the Codex Alimentarius, a set of international food safety and quality standards.

The primary objective of the workshop, held in November 2017 in Bishkek, was to enhance governmental, parliamentary and ministerial representatives’ understanding of Codex activities. This will strengthen Kyrgyzstan’s capacity to create effective Codex infrastructure and programmes in order to improve national food safety programmes and food control.

The Center for Standardization and Metrology under the Kyrgyz Ministry of Economy and the WHO Country Office in Kyrgyzstan jointly organized the workshop. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)/WHO Codex Trust Fund supported the event as part of a Kyrgyz project to improve Codex work in the country.

Food legislation compared and analysed

International WHO experts delivered a presentation on the importance of the work of the Codex Alimentarius Commission for world food trade, and compared food legislation in the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Community. Representatives of the Kyrgyz ministries of agriculture and health also gave presentations.

The presentations helped high-level officials in the country better understand Kyrgyzstan’s role in the international arena of food safety and quality standards. Participants also engaged in an open discussion on issues related to food safety legislation, as well as milestones and potential opportunities in Kyrgyzstan. They highlighted the need to strengthen national food safety policies and risk-based approaches for national food safety systems.

Codex principles and regulations in-depth

Participants improved their knowledge of overall international food safety and quality standards, and how Codex work should link to other food safety activities at the national level. In particular, the workshop covered the following fundamentals:

  • what Codex is, what the main standards are and how they work;
  • how the Codex standards can support international trade;
  • how countries participate in Codex and what kind of benefits they receive;
  • how Codex work should be coordinated at the national level; and
  • how Codex contributes to achieving overarching Sustainable Development Goals.

The workshop was funded through the Codex Trust Fund.