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Global Collaboration on Spice Standards: Codex Committee Concludes Meeting in Kerala

Delegates from around the world converge in Kochi, Kerala, as the Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs finalises standards and initiates new work.

KJ Staff
CCSCH7 concludes first Codex meeting of the year and forwards three new standards for adoption. (Picture Courtesy: www.fao.org)
CCSCH7 concludes first Codex meeting of the year and forwards three new standards for adoption. (Picture Courtesy: www.fao.org)

The Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH7) successfully wrapped up its seventh meeting in Kochi, Kerala, hosted by the Government of India. Delegates from various nations collaborated on setting standards for spices, agreeing on the adoption of three texts by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) and launching work on four additional spices or culinary herbs.

Grouping for Progress

The CCSCH7 introduced an innovative approach by categorising spices and culinary herbs into six groups based on their plant origins. This strategic grouping allows the committee to develop standards efficiently, facilitating the creation of group standards for numerous spices and herbs within a reasonable timeframe. This development aims to enhance their safety and promote global trade.

Forward Steps

The committee agreed to submit three draft standards for adoption by the CAC47. These include the final draft for dried small cardamom, the draft for spices in the form of dried or dehydrated fruits and berries (part A – covering allspice, juniper berry, and star anise), and the proposed draft standard for turmeric. These submissions mark significant progress in standardising the spice industry globally.

New Work Initiatives

CCSCH7 also paved the way for new standards by approving proposals for sweet marjoram, coriander, large cardamom, and cinnamon. These proposals, put forth by Egypt, India, Bhutan, Nepal, and Brazil respectively, will undergo consideration for approval by CAC47. The move signals the committee's commitment to expanding its scope and addressing emerging needs in the ever-evolving spice and culinary herb landscape.

Celebrating Milestones

As the meeting concluded, Dr M. R. Sudharshan, the Chairperson, expressed gratitude to delegates and the Codex Secretariat for their hard work. Commemorating the physical meeting in Kerala, he also marked the 10th anniversary of the CCSCH, which was established in 2013. Amidst applause, Dr Sudharshan humorously remarked on the delayed applause, reflecting the challenges faced during two virtual meetings amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The successful physical gathering symbolized a milestone in the committee's journey towards fostering global collaboration in spice standards.

This collaborative effort is anticipated to have a far-reaching impact on the spice industry, ensuring not only the quality and safety of products but also contributing to a more streamlined and efficient global spice trade.

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