Overview of Codex

International food safety standards are coordinated through the Codex Alimentarius Commission. New Zealand is an active participant. If you’re new to Codex, start here.

About Codex

Codex refers to the activities of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC). Codex Alimentarius is Latin for ‘food code’. The Commission, which was established nearly 50 years ago, is part an international food standards programme run by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

The Commission aims to:

  • protect the health of consumers
  • ensure fair trade practices.

This is achieved by:

  • setting food standards
  • preparing guidance such as Codes of Practice (COPs)
  • encouraging coordination of work on food standards in governmental and non-governmental organisations.

New Zealand participates in Codex by:

  • attending meetings of international Codex committees that are of greatest interest and significance to New Zealand
  • leading international standards work in areas of particular interest
  • collaborating with other members of Codex to further areas of mutual interest

What you will find here

  • Introduction to Codex – Find out about the aims and structure of the CAC, its strategic priorities and work with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and other related organisations.
  • New Zealand and Codex – Guided by a strategic plan, New Zealand participates in a range of international committees to further food safety and trade interests. Find out how you can attend preparatory meetings.

Further sub-sections provide more generic information relevant to Codex.

  • Documents – Find a full list of documents relating to Codex.
  • What’s new – Check this page regularly for important updates relevant to Codex.

Related information

Information specific to Codex is contained in this section of the website. To find out how Codex food standards apply to you, you need to refer to your food sector and the section about general requirements and programmes.

General requirements & programmes
Food sectors

Keeping up to date

It’s important to keep up to date with any new or revised information about Codex. There are different ways to keep up to date – choose the methods that work best for you:

  • What's new – Click on What's new in the left-hand menu to read the most recent updates to Codex.
  • Get emails – Sign-up to receive the latest MPI food safety news by email. Click on the Get emails link in the right-hand panel or at the bottom of any page to sign-up for email notifications.
  • Subscribe to feeds – Sign up to receive news feeds. Click on the Subscribe to feeds link at the bottom of any page to add to your list of news feeds.

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