According to the Codex Alimentarius Commission (hereinafter referred to as the “Codex Standard”), the term “kimchi,” for which standard number is Codex Standard 223-2001, applies to products made with cabbage and other vegetables that are carefully chosen as main ingredients, cut, salted, washed, and seasoned before being fermented.
When the World Trade Organization (WTO) launched in 1995, the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (the SPS Agreement) and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to trade (the TBT Agreement) took effect. Along with this, the Codex Standard has been recognized as the only international standard for the food sector and used as international reference for transboundary trade disputes and international trade frictions. As a result, its importance as the international standard for the food sector has been increasingly emphasized.
Korea had proposed the Codex standardization for kimchi since 1995 and finally in early July 2001 had the Codex Alimentarius Commission certify Korean “kimchi” as an internationally standardized food. With this, Korea successfully thwarted Japan’s attempt to secure the suzerain status on kimchi with the name “gimuch” and also prepared a foothold to promote international standardization of other traditional Korean foods.
Cabbage used for kimchi should be prepared as one of the following four types: “whole cabbage, and cabbage cut into halves vertically, cut into quarters vertically, or cut into pieces of 1~6 cm sizes.”