News story

Setting standards for the import and export of food

The Government Chemist made a contribution into an international committee dealing with setting standards for the import and export of food

Selvarani Elahi, Deputy Government Chemist

Selvarani Elahi, Deputy Government Chemist


The principal aim of the Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems (CCFICS) is to develop principles and guidelines for food import and export inspection and certification systems with a view to harmonise methods and procedures which protect the health of consumers, ensure fair trading practices and facilitate international trade in foodstuffs. There has been growing interest within Codex to address food authenticity and/or food fraud which is why a side event on Food Integrity and Food Authenticity was scheduled.

At the invitation of the Food Standards Agency, Selvarani Elahi , the Deputy Government Chemist, attended the 24th meeting of CCFICS in Brisbane, Australia, as part of the UK delegation and gave a presentation on the Food Authenticity Network at a side event on Food Integrity and Food Authenticity.

Selvarani’s presentation covered the following information about the Food Authenticity Network:

  • It is a UK government initiative to help bring together those involved in food authenticity testing.

  • The Network raises awareness of the tools available to check for mislabelling and food fraud and to ensure that the UK has access to a resilient network of laboratories providing fit for purpose testing to check for food authenticity.

  • The Network now also includes a section on Food Fraud Mitigation, in which the major global services, guidance and reports aimed at preventing food fraud have been collated.

  • The Network has grown substantially and now has over 930 members from 45 different countries/territories and over 1300 followers on Twitter.

  • The Network will transition to a public-private partnership model from January 2019.

  • The plan is for the Network’s website to be used as the architecture to cost effectively develop bespoke pages for other countries thereby building a truly global system that can be used fight food fraud in a coordinated and cohesive manner across the world.

The meeting was attended by forty-one Member countries, one Member and four observer organisations. The presentation on the Food Authenticity Network was well received and there was interest in the model constructed for the UK and EU. Follow-on discussions are now in progress with the countries who expressed an interest, to potentially develop bespoke pages for their countries. The presentation has been placed on the CCFICs meeting page of the Codex website.

For more information about the work the Government Chemist does, or advice in food testing matters contact:

Government Chemist

Queens Road
TW11 0LY

Published 14 December 2018