The Codex Alimentarius, or the food code, has become the seminal global reference point for consumers, food producers and processors, national food control agencies and the international food trade. The code has had an enormous impact on the thinking of food producers and processors as well as on the awareness of the end users - the consumers. Its influence extends to every continent, and its contribution to the protection of public health and fair practices in the food trade is immeasurable.
The Codex Alimentarius system presents a unique opportunity for all countries to join the international community in formulating and harmonizing food standards and ensuring their global implementation. It also allows them a role in the development of codes governing hygienic processing practices and recommendations relating to compliance with those standards.
The International Dairy Federation's (IDF's) task is to provide the basic drafts as recommendations to the Codex Committee on milk & milk products. Thus IDF is the source of draft standards for milk products for adoption as Codex standards.
IDF also keeps all other Codex committees affecting the dairy industry under observation - both those on competing products and the so-called "horizontal" committees whose work affects all of the standards for food. IDF comments on all Codex documents of concern, and reports to its members.
IDF's work in relation to the Codex Alimentarius is seen as its most important task for the dairy industry. IDF has a clearly defined consultative procedure for the development of its submissions to Codex to ensure that they represent teh views of the dairy industry world-wide. Consensus is not always easy to achieve but IDF is recognized by the Codex Authorities both in principle and in practice as a body with an authoritative view.