UK Seafood Industry Alliance endorses GDST 1.0 global traceability standards

The U.K. Seafood Industry Alliance (UK SIA) is the latest major industry stakeholder to endorse the new traceability standards published by the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (GDST) in March of this year.

UK SIA Secretariat Mike Short said the GDST 1.0 standards offer an avenue to interoperability and increased verifiability, helping to unify the seafood community in its virtual processes.

“The U.K. Seafood Industry Alliance clearly recognizes the value of a common digital language for data to facilitate interoperability and verifiability,” Short said in a 25 August press release. “This unified approach will not only decrease our efforts and costs to provide the information that our business partners, governments, and end-consumers ask for, but will also allow to help ensure the legal origin of seafood.”

Based in the United Kingdom, UK SIA operates as “a major international voice for secure, affordable, and sustainable fishery products,” according to GDST. Seafood distributors for retail and foodservice make up UK SIA’s ranks, selling own-label and branded seafood products to retailers, caterers, and restaurants.

“With the U.K. being one of the largest seafood markets in Europe, sourcing and delivering sustainable seafood to consumers is of top priority,” the organization noted.

Grimsby-based supplier Young’s Seafood is one such member of UK SIA, and sees the endorsement of GDST 1.0 standards as formative moment for the seafood industry at large.

“Traceability and transparency are fundamental to the strategic focus of successful seafood businesses,” Cameron Moffat, the company’s sustainability manager, said. “The release of the GDST 1.0 standards represents a significant milestone for the industry, providing a consistent, practical format for the transfer of complex supply chain data.”

U.K.-based seafood companies have been demonstrated leaders in implementation of the GDST 1.0 standards since the launch earlier this year.

“Through implementation of the GDST standards, companies will meet their commitments to responsible sourcing while ensuring that future investments in their traceability systems are in step with industry trends and technology developments,” GDST said.

“As a U.K. business with global sourcing of raw fish, we need to have complete confidence in our supply chain to ensure we provide safe, high-quality, and ethically sourced fish to the U.K. market and beyond,” New England Seafood Technical Director David Jefferies added. “GDST provides the foundation for this to be taken to the next level and we fully support its implementation in the supply chain.”

Officially released on 16 March, the GDST 1.0 standards were the result of three-years of business-to-business discussions convened by WWF and the Global Food Traceability Center at the Institute of Food Technologists. More than 70 companies had joined the dialogue or expressed support as of March 2020, including seven of the world’s 10 largest seafood companies.

"Just as technology is part of the solution, the incredible diversity and proliferation of technologies that are not interoperable is part of the problem," WWF Transparent Seas Project Senior Manager David Schorr told SeafoodSource on 17 March.


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