SUNBIZ

Commission Approves Work on a Regional Standard for Kava

A major achievement in terms of new work on developing a regional standard for kava as a beverage when mixed with water was finally adopted by the CODEX Alimentarius Commission
04 Aug 2017 11:24
Commission Approves Work on a Regional Standard for Kava

A major achievement in terms of new work on developing a regional standard for kava as a beverage when mixed with water was finally adopted by the CODEX Alimentarius Commission (CAC), at its 40th Session in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Ministry of Agriculture permanent secretary and Fiji’s National Focal Point for CODEX, Jitendra Singh said that this is a major milestone for Fiji and other kava-producing Pacific Island countries (PICs).

“The development of a regional standard for kava will improve the credibility and safety of the product, thus ensuring improved international market access for kava,” said Mr Singh.

The proposal was tabled and endorsed by the Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organisation Coordinating Committee for North America and South West Pacific (CCNASWP) in its session last year (2016) where it was cleared to be discussed in the Codex Executive Committee (CEXEC) in July before it was recommended to the CAC for approval.

On its second day of session, the CAC’s 150 member countries present at the meeting all agreed to the proposal for this new work. This culminates some 13 years of work by regional members to develop a standard for kava.

Mr Singh acknowledged the support of the ‘quad countries’; United States of America (USA), Canada, Australia, and New Zealand who are also members of the CCNASWP which Fiji belongs to.  “They have supported our proposal all the way without reservation,” he said.

The process for endorsing a food/beverage code or standard is quite strict and open to scrutiny from all CODEX members. Each country wants to ensure that such a code or standard guarantees the quality and safety of the product that they may be openly traded in the international market and consumed by their people.

In preparation of this regional standard, a technical working group will be formed soon by CCNASWP, who will work on the content and technical details required in the standard.

Kava is an important agricultural commodity for the PICs that engage in its cultivation, forming an integral part of cultural, social and economic life. While a number of the PICs produce and trade in kava products, Vanuatu and Fiji are the major producers and exporters in the Pacific region.

Source: Department of Information

Subscribe to E-Edition
pacific island top up
Air Nuigini
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: