26 November 2020
[FYI request #14057 email]
Dear T. Benseman
Thank you for your email of 29 October 2020 in relation to the Codex Alimentarius. Your
request has been considered under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA).
You requested the following information:
Please advise the scope of correspondence you have regarding Codex Alimentarius
over the last 7 years, by amount per year.
As you have not requested any specific correspondence relating to Codex Alimentarius, but
rather the scope of correspondence, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has decided to
provide you with information regarding the scope of MPI’s involvement in Codex Alimentarius
and the broad categories of information we hold.
The Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) is the international food standards body
established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World
Health Organization in 1963. New Zealand has been a member of the organization since its
formation and we participate across various Codex committees and subject areas of
importance to New Zealand, taking into account our food safety and trade interests.
As lead agency for Codex in New Zealand, MPI is responsible for managing New Zealand’s
input into the work of the CAC. MPI has a clear policy document that sets out New Zealand’s
strategic objectives in Codex 2015-2020, which can be accessed on MPI’s website at
The Codex committees which NZ is actively engaged in include:
• Codex Committee Contaminants in Food
• Codex Committee Food Additives
• Codex Committee Fish & Fish Products
• Codex Committee Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
• Codex Committee Food Hygiene
• Codex Committee Food Import and Export Certificate Systems
• Codex Committee Food Labelling
• Codex Committee General Principles
• Codex Committee Methods of Analysis and Sampling
• Codex Committee Milk and Milk Products (NZ is host country but currently adjourned)
• Codex Committee on Meat Hygiene (NZ host country but currently adjourned)
• Codex Committee Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Use
• Codex Committee Pesticide Residues
Charles Fergusson Building, 34-38 Bowen Street
PO Box 2526
Wel ington 6140, New Zealand
• Codex Committee Residues Veterinary Drugs and Food
• Ad Hoc Task Force Animal Feed
• Codex Committee on Fats & Oils
• Codex Alimentarius Commission
• Coordinating Committee for North American & South West Pacific
MPI has a well-defined consultation process on Codex matters, that includes opportunities
for all interested parties to provide comments on draft standards under discussion in various
Codex committees. In addition, and as required, MPI convenes preparatory meetings to
discuss the agenda of specific Codex committees to seek the views of stakeholders on items
under consideration. These processes are used to develop and draft New Zealand briefing
papers. These documents may be shared with interested parties.
Further information regarding Codex Alimentarius, including meeting documents, agenda
papers and reports, are published by the FAO/WHO Codex Secretariat. These can be
accessed on their website at: www.fao.org/fao-who-codexalimentarius/en/.
In addition to the above, MPI has a generic email account ([email address]) to facilitate
internal and external communication on Codex related matters. Such communication ranges from
notices about upcoming meetings, links to draft documents and agenda papers, stakeholder
newsletters, and responding to internal and external queries relating to Codex.
I trust the information provided is of assistance. Should you have any concerns with this
response, I would encourage you to raise these with the Ministry for Primary Industries at
[email address]. Alternatively, you are advised of your right to also raise
any concerns with the Office of the Ombudsman. Contact details are: Office of the
Ombudsman, PO Box 10152, Wellington 6143 or at [email address].
Philip Houlding Director International Policy