AS a country with many more cultivars of what the region generally knows as kava, Vanuatu is pleased to have scientists of the WHO / FAO Codex Alimentarius studying in country the large number of noble kavas produced locally. These are often jealously guarded in their islands of origin – even in their villages of production. Legislation exists to keep them exclusively ni-Vanuatu and to promote their usage where appropriate: to gain the best possible prices and to compete with the cheap, and easily, and more quickly grown “”two-day kava”.
The World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN set up the Codex Alimentarius in 1963. The aim was to create international standards for the things people anywhere can – and do – eat and drink. Guidelines and codes of practice, they say, contribute to the safety and quality – and too, the trade fairness – of foods traveling to world markets, often a long way from the production area.
Consumers are now able to trust the safety and quality of foods, if indeed they meet the Codex Alimentarius specifications. The Codex agreement covers 99% of the world’s population. A Codex Alimentarius team of the WHO and FAO is presently studying kava in Vanuatu.
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