International Food Standards Initiative
The International Food Standards program (IFS) contributes to the maintenance and development of international market access opportunities for the Australian food and beverage industries. This is achieved by providing scientific and technical advice in the development of Australian positions in government-to-government negotiations on international food standards.
IFS is principally involved in a range of committees and task forces of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), the international food standards setting body. Working with Codex Australia, the Australian Codex Contact Point, we actively encourage the involvement of Australia’s food and beverage industries and government agencies in developing Australia’s positions for Codex negotiations.
IFS provides technical input on a wide range of international food standards issues affecting Australia’s food industry. This contributes to achieving the Department’s aims in ensuring market access to facilitate trade in Australian food and agricultural products.
The importance of international food standards
Australia participates in, and influences, the development of international food standards to ensure that our industry and trade interests are considered, and to restrict any barriers that may inhibit our market access and trade potential.
Codex and other international food standards can directly affect food trade, as many countries use them as globally agreed reference points when setting their national food standards and industry trading standards.
Codex standards are also referenced under World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements, such as the Sanitary and Phytosanitary and the Technical Barriers to Trade agreements, that aim to ensure that international standards do not result in unnecessary barriers in international trade. These standards can also be used as a reference point by the WTO in dispute settlement processes.
For further information on Australia’s involvement in Codex, or if you are interested in being involved in developing Australia’s position for Codex negotiations or would like to attend Codex meetings to provide technical advice to the Australian delegation, email Codex Australia, or visit www.codexaustralia.gov.au
Other Codex news and information are available from the Codex Australia website.
23 May 2011