To strengthen the national Codex programme in the country, a three-day advocacy workshop on the theme “achieving leadership in the codex process” was organized from 20-22 September in Lobesa, Punakha.
It was also to address some of the gaps identified using the Codex Diagnostic Tool and help spur understanding on the importance of Codex standards for consumer protection and fair practices in food trade.
The program was also aimed at enhancing engagement in international standard setting process among the relevant agencies.
The Director General, Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA), Dr Tashi Samdup highlighted on the important role of the relevant agencies in contributing to the work of Codex at national and international level to protect plant, animal and human health.
The Regional Advisor for Food Safety, World Health Organization (WHO) South East Asia Regional Office (SEARO) Dr Gyanendra Gongal commended Bhutan for taking proactive initiatives towards improving the food safety situation of Bhutan and reiterated on the importance of benefiting from Codex Trust Fund to better participate and contribute towards Codex works.
Senior Food Safety and Nutrition Officer, FAO RAP Dr Shridhar Dharmapuri emphasized on using the Codex texts to further strengthen the national food control system to achieve food safety and ensure fair practices in trade.
This workshop was held as part of Codex Trust Fund (CTF) tripartite project for Bhutan, India and Nepal, with the goal to strengthen the function of National Codex Structures through effective engagement of all stakeholders in Codex activities and standard setting process.
Around 40 participants from Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan, State Owned Enterprises, WHO and World Food Programme country office attended the workshop.
The workshop is being facilitated by experts from India, WHO SEARO, New Delhi and FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok.