Seafood industry pilot study reinforces importance of standards to traceable, responsible supply chains

A recent seafood industry traceability pilot study conducted by GS1 US supports the value of universal standards to help seafood companies efficiently and effectively exchange supply chain data and improve end-to-end visibility.

The study was conducted in collaboration with the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (GDST), the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), Beaver Street Fisheries, Bumble Bee Seafoods, Chicken of the Sea, FoodLogiQ, IBM Food Trust, Insite Solutions/Norpac,, SAP, Walmart, and Wholechain. It follows a similar 2020 prototype that confirmed traceability solutions from FoodLogiQ, IBM Food Trust, and SAP can operate, transmit, and exchange product data throughout a supply chain when GS1 Standards are applied.

GS1 US, GDST, and seafood industry trading partners collaborated to test the flow of product data using the GDST 1.0 seafood standards prototype.

The recent pilot demonstrated how technical standards like GDST gives the industry greater choice in traceability platforms by ensuring interoperability among diverse proprietary traceability systems such as blockchain, cloud-based, or other technologies to optimize data sharing.

This interoperability not only supports more efficient data exchange for the industry, it also helps the industry meet growing supply chain digitization requirements like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) section 204 food traceability rule.

“This pilot project has shown that the GDST standards-based heavily on GS1 EPCIS—can deliver the interoperability of traceability systems that is urgently needed across the seafood industry,” IFT Global Food Traceability Director Executive Director Bryan Hitchcock said. “This positive result represents just the beginning of what industry can do when we prioritize collaboration and standardization to help companies meet new regulations, supply chain demands, and consumer expectations.”

The GS1 US team and GDST plan to continue working with the seafood industry to evaluate traceability data requirements and the need for new technical standards or protocols required for interoperability.

“GS1 US remains committed to finding collaborative ways to solve the supply chain’s most urgent challenges,” GS1 US Senior Vice President of Corporate Development Melanie Nuce said. “This pilot shows not only that systems ‘speak’ to each other using standards, but also that industry collaboration is equally critical to define their conversation. With both key elements in place, we can create industry-wide transparency for seafood, and more broadly, enhance food safety.”

Photo courtesy of Grigvovan/Shutterstock


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