Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary herbs (CCSCH) has been set up under Codex Alimentarius Committee, Rome—the international organization under FAO and WHO for developing international food standards, guidelines and codes of practices to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair practices in trade. India hosts and chairs this Codex Committee and Spices Board India serves as its secretariat.

Constitution of CCSCH was largely due to the focused efforts by Spices Board India with the active support of the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India, right from initiation of proposal, demonstration of the need and convincing the international spice community, WHO and Codex.

The Codex Alimentarius Commission is the international intergovernmental body having membership of over 189 countries including the European Union representing its 30 odd member nations which formulates internationally accepted standards pertaining to food. The Codex is based in Rome and funded jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO. The commission is recognized by the World Trade Organization (WTO) as an international reference point for the resolution of disputes concerning food safety and consumer protection. For more details click here

Considering the fact that international spice trade is being affected by the lack of worldwide harmonized standards, a proposal for the constitution of anew committee for Spices and Culinary herbs was initiated in 2012 at the behest of Spices Board on behalf of India. The Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH) was approved at the 36th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission held at the FAO Headquarters, Rome during July 2013.

Spices Board holds the secretariat for the CCSCH on behalf of India, and has now successfully organized five sessions, at Kochi (2014), Goa (2015), Chennai (2017) and Thiruvananthapuram (2019) and the fifth session, virtually in April 2021. The terms of reference of CCSCH are,

  1. 1)To elaborate worldwide standards for spices and culinary herbs in their dried and dehydrated state in whole, ground, cracked or crushed forms.
  2. 2) To consult, as necessary, with other international organizations in the standard development process to avoid duplication.
As per the work modalities CCSCH session are conducted at an interval of 18 months. For more details click here