Tag Archives: Food security

Sectoral development policies

Sectoral development policies

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Sectoral development policies


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Development > Sectoral development policies

Sectoral development policies

Within the framework of development cooperation the Union places the emphasis on a number of areas where solutions have been tailored to the needs of developing countries on the basis of the relevant comparative advantage, which involve not only economic and social development and governance but also the environment food security, agriculture and infrastructure.

This thematic, cross-sectoral approach, particularly highlighted in the “European Consensus on Development”, also aims to ensure cohesion between European policies and the development priorities which might be affected by those policies.



  • Governance in the consensus on development
  • Governance and development
  • Tax governance in developing countries

Human Rights

  • A financing instrument for the promotion of democracy and human rights in the world (2007 – 2013)

Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) and civil society

  • Local authorities and development assistance
  • Non-state Actors and Local Authorities
  • Cooperation with indigenous peoples


Education and training

  • Investing in people
  • Education and training in the context of poverty reduction

Equality between men and women

  • Strategy for gender equality in development policy


  • Children in EU external action


  • The EU Role in Global Health
  • Health: health and poverty reduction
  • Programme for Action to combat lack of personnel in the health sector (2007-2013)
  • Compulsory licensing system for the production and export of generic medicinal products to developing countries
  • Programme for Action to Confront HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis (2007-2011)
  • Update on the EC Programme for Action – Accelerated action on HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis
  • Health: programme for accelerated action on HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis (2001-2006)
  • Essential medicines for developing countries (HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria)
  • Health: global fund to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria


  • Global partnership for sustainable development
  • Integrating sustainable development into Community cooperation policy
  • Strategy for sustainable development



  • Environment and sustainable management of natural resources, including energy
  • United Nations Convention to combat desertification in countries seriously affected by drought

Climate change

  • Global climate change alliance
  • Climate change in the context of development cooperation


  • Biodiversity Action Plan for Economic and Development Co-operation
  • The Rio de Janeiro Convention on biological diversity


  • Water: water management in developing countries
  • Guidelines for cooperation towards development in the area of water resources
  • European Water Facility for the ACP countries


  • The Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund
  • Cooperation with Non-EU Member Countries on nuclear safety
  • Energy cooperation with the developing countries
  • ACP-EU Energy Facility


  • FLEGT Licensing scheme
  • Fight against illegal logging
  • Combating deforestation


  • Partnership agreements with Non-EU Member Countries
  • Fisheries: fisheries and poverty reduction


  • Agricultural commodities, dependence and poverty
  • Fighting rural poverty
  • Advancing African agriculture
  • Land policy in developing countries
  • Partnership with Africa for the development of the cotton industry
  • The International Coffee Agreement 2007


  • Strategic framework for food security in developing countries
  • Facility for rapid response to soaring food prices
  • Combating hunger: strategy for food security
  • Food Aid Convention


  • Supporting developing countries in coping with the crisis


  • Scheme of preferences from 2006 to 2015 – Guidelines
  • A scheme of generalised tariff preferences 2009-2011
  • Generalised System of Preferences 2006 – 2008
  • Aid for Trade in developing countries
  • Towards an EU Aid for Trade strategy
  • Assisting developing countries to benefit from trade
  • Fair Trade and non-governmental trade-related sustainability assurance schemes
  • Fair trade


  • International investments: towards a comprehensive European policy
  • EU support for business sector development in third countries
  • The reform of state-owned enterprises in developing countries


  • Euro-African Partnership for infrastructure


  • Transport: guidelines
  • Promoting sustainable transport

Communication and information

  • Information and communication Technologies


  • Development of sustainable tourism


  • Migration and development: some concrete orientations
  • Cooperation with Non-EU Member Countries in the areas of migration and asylum


  • Mine Action Strategy 2005-2007

Accession of the European Community to the Codex Alimentarius Commission

Accession of the European Community to the Codex Alimentarius Commission

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Accession of the European Community to the Codex Alimentarius Commission


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Food safety > International dimension and enlargement

Accession of the European Community to the Codex Alimentarius Commission

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2003/822/EC of 17 November 2003 on the accession of the European Community to the Codex Alimentarius Commission [Official Journal L 309, 26.11.2003].



The Codex Alimentarius (or food code) is a joint programme of the FAO (the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation) and the WHO (World Health Organisation), which lays down food health standards that serve as a reference for international trade in foodstuffs.

Since 1994 and the entry into force of the WTO Agreements on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) and on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement), the legal relevance of the Codex standards has increased. Indeed these two Agreements make reference to those standards, meaning that the latter are used as the basis for the evaluation of national measures and regulations.

At present, all Member States of the European Union (EU), and, since the end of 2003, the European Community as such are members of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which is the body in charge of updating the Codex.

This Decision concerns the application of the European Community to accede to the CAC, achieved in 2003. It is accompanied by a declaration on the exercise of competence between the European Community and its Member States and by the text of the Arrangement between the Council and the Commission regarding preparation for meetings and statements and the exercise of voting rights within the CAC.

Background to the accession negotiations

Since Article 2 of the CAC’s statutes authorises any FAO member to become a full member, the European Community started negotiations to that end in the mid-1990s.
In January 1994, the Council authorised the Commission to enter into negotiations, on behalf of the Community, with the CAC Secretariat with a view to defining the conditions and procedures for the Community’s accession.
Discussions between the Commission and Council had since then been blocked by Member State concerns about internal coordination and the division of responsibilities.
As a result of the White Paper on Food Safety, which reaffirmed the benefits of CAC membership, negotiations with the CAC Secretariat on accession conditions resumed during 2001.

In June 2003, the CAC amended its Rules of Procedure allowing regional economic integration organisations to become members, thus opening the way to the accession of the European Community alongside its Member States.

The Codex Alimentarius Commission: aims and mode of operation

The CAC was created by the WHO and FAO in 1963 to implement their Joint Food Standards Programme aimed at protecting the health of consumers, ensuring fair trade practices in the food trade and promoting coordination of all food standards work undertaken by governmental and international organisations.

Its main aim, then, is to define international standards, codes of practice and other guidelines and recommendations concerning agricultural and fishery products, foodstuffs, food additives, food contaminants, animal feed and the residues of veterinary products and pesticides as well as labelling, inspection and certification systems, analysis and sampling methods, ethics and good farming practice codes and food hygiene practices.
These standards are then published in one of the Codex’s 13 volumes:

  • general requirements and general requirements for food hygiene;
  • general texts on pesticide residues in food and maximum limits for same;
  • residues of veterinary drugs in foods;
  • foods for special dietary uses, including foods for infants and children;
  • processed and quick-frozen fruits and vegetables, fresh fruits and vegetables;
  • fruit juices;
  • cereals, pulses and derived products and vegetable proteins;
  • fats and oils and related products;
  • fish and fishery products;
  • meat and meat products;
  • soups and broths;
  • sugars, cocoa products and chocolate and miscellaneous products;
  • milk and milk products;
  • methods of analysing and sampling.

The CAC’S work also encourages food traders to voluntarily adopt ethical practices. To that end, the CAC has published a Code of ethics for international trade in food, which now forms part of the Codex.

The CAC currently comprises 171 countries and holds meetings every year. It is helped in developing its standards by subsidiary bodies, which include committees dealing with horizontal matters (for example, general principles, labelling, food hygiene, food additives and contaminants, etc.), committees dealing with vertical matters, i.e. specialising in one type of product (for example, milk and milk products, fish and fishery products, etc.), “task forces” dedicated to a particular task of limited duration and regional coordinating committees. In addition, the experts’ meetings organised and supported by the FAO and the WHO provide the essential scientific basis (risk assessment) for the CAC’S work and the publications resulting from their activities act as international references. There are three of these groups of experts, the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR), the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Microbiological Risk Assessment (JEMRA) and the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA).

Activities of the European Community and its Member States within the CAC

The CAC’s Rules of Procedure now allow a member organisation to share its voting rights with its Member States in accordance with their respective competences. When the member organisation is entitled to vote, the number of votes it may cast is equal to the number of Member States present when the vote is taken, hence the importance of Member States being present. This rule is the result of a compromise reached with developing countries, which, in the interests of fairness, could not accept the vote of a country not present being counted.

Competence is assigned as follows:

  • the European Community has exclusive competence for matters on which the rules have already been harmonised, either fully or to a large extent, at Community level. In such cases, the Commission speaks and votes in the name of the Community, although Member States have the right to speak in favour of the Community position and to react to contributions from other countries;
  • the Member States have exclusive competence for all organisational matters (for example, legal or budgetary questions) and for procedural matters (for example, the election of chairpersons, the adoption of agendas and the approval of minutes);
  • competence is shared where rules have been only partially harmonised: the vote is exercised either by the Member States or the Community, depending on the degree of harmonisation achieved. In such cases, the Presidency and the Commission put forward the common position. Member States may also speak in order to support and/or develop the Community position and to react to contributions.

Before each meeting of the CAC or of one of its subsidiary bodies, an annotated agenda, indicating who, within the organisation or its Member States, is competent for each item and is to exercise the right to vote, is drawn up and given to all participants.

In addition, the Member States and the Commission have the right to participate in the Codex working groups and drafting committees and express their opinions there. Member State and Commission representatives endeavour to reach a common position and defend this during discussions in the working groups and drafting committees,

The HACCP principles (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) and the Codex Alimentarius

The measures taken by the EU with regard to food safety and food frequently invoke the Codex as justification. This is true particularly of the HACCP principles, which are the basis of European legislation relating to food hygiene and official controls on products of animal origin intended for human consumption.

These principles, developed by the CAC since the early 1990s, prescribe a number of stages to be followed throughout the production cycle in order to allow, on the basis of a risk analysis, the identification of critical points that need to be monitored to ensure food safety:

  • identification of all risks to be avoided, eliminated or reduced to acceptable levels;
  • identification of the critical or limit points where surveillance becomes essential;
  • establishment and application of effective procedures for monitoring critical points;
  • adoption of corrective measures when monitoring reveals a critical point is being overstepped.

Relationship between the WTO and the Codex Alimentarius

When the WTO was set up in April 1994, two specific agreements were concluded in Marrakech to restrict barriers to trade justified on the basis of protectionist technical regulations:

  • the Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement);
  • the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement).

The SPS Agreement lays down the conditions on which a State can adopt and implement health measures (animal health, food safety) or phytosanitary measures (protection of plants) that have a direct or indirect impact on international trade. This Agreement makes explicit reference to the standards defined by the Codex to impose limits on the actions of the signatory States.
Thus the preamble to this Agreement declares itself in favour of furthering “the use of harmonized sanitary and phytosanitary measures between Members, on the basis of international standards, guidelines and recommendations developed by the relevant international organisations, including the Codex Alimentarius Commission”.

The TBT Agreement aims to guarantee that technical regulations and standards do not create unnecessary obstacles to international trade. It too makes extensive reference to international standards, though without explicitly citing the Codex, in the context of the harmonisation that it advocates.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2003/822/EC 17.11.2003 OJ L 309 of 26.11.2003

Good manufacturing practice for materials and articles intended to come into contact with food

Good manufacturing practice for materials and articles intended to come into contact with food

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Good manufacturing practice for materials and articles intended to come into contact with food


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Food safety > Contamination and environmental factors

Good manufacturing practice for materials and articles intended to come into contact with food

Document or Iniciative

Commission Regulation (EC) No 2023/2006 of 22 December 2006 on good manufacturing practice for materials and articles intended to come into contact with food.


This Regulation establishes “good manufacturing practice *” for materials and articles intended to come into contact with food.

“Good practice” harmonises manufacturing procedures in the European Union for the aforementioned materials at all stages of production, from manufacture to distribution.

Manufacturers must establish a quality assurance system and a quality control system (see below) following the detailed manufacturing regulations, for example the processes involving printing inks.

Materials in contact with food include objects such as containers and packaging, but also all materials in contact with foodstuffs, such as paper and cardboard or those which could possibly transfer their constituents to food, for example inks and adhesives.

Annex 1 to Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 includes a list of the materials covered by this Regulation: active and intelligent objects, adhesives, ceramics, cork, rubbers, glass, ion-exchange resins, metals and alloys, paper and cardboard, plastics, printing inks, regenerated cellulose, silicones, textiles, varnishes and coatings, waxes and wood.

Quality assurance system and quality control system

This Regulation includes an obligation for manufacturers to implement a quality assurance system (taking account of the personnel required to put the system in place and the size of the business), as well as a quality control system. The latter provides for measures to be taken should a business fail to comply with good manufacturing practice.

In addition, manufacturers shall create and maintain documentation regarding the specifications, manufacturing formulae and product processing which are important for the compliance and safety of the finished article, as well as those related to the various manufacturing operations. They are required to make the documentation available to the competent authorities at their request.

Key terms of the Act
  • ‘good manufacturing practice (GMP)’ means those aspects of quality assurance which ensure that materials and articles are consistently produced and controlled to ensure conformity with the rules applicable to them and with the quality standards appropriate to their intended use by not endangering human health or causing an unacceptable change in the composition of the food or causing a deterioration in the organoleptic characteristics thereof.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 2023/2006


OJ L 384 of 29.12.2006


Annex – Detailed rules on good manufacturing practice
Regulation (EC) No 282/2008 [Official Journal L 86 of 28.3.2008].