A US$40m trust fund has been launched by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to help the world's poorest countries frame and implement Codex Alimentarius international food trade standards.

The ‘Project and Fund for Enhanced Participation in Codex’ is expected to run for 12 years and has already received its first contribution from Switzerland.

An FAO statement said that the fund would help 120 developing countries send officials to Codex meetings and set international food safety and quality standards in their own countries. WHO Director-General Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland said: "This will enable them both to improve the quality and safety of food at home and to be more effective when trading their food internationally."