Standards in Traceability: A Closer Look at GS1

Standards in Traceability: A Closer Look at GS1

Today, food service organizations strive to reduce waste in the foodservice industry supply network, enhance product data, and establish a means for food safety through enhanced traceability. These organizations are representatives of the Foodservice US Standards Initiative and encourage global standards to increase efficiency, visibility, and accuracy in the foodservice supply chain.

The Foodservice GS1, US Standards Initiative, covers a relatively large number of industry sectors. More than 130 foodservice operators, distributors, manufacturers, associations, and other stakeholders are currently working together to address the challenges that GS1 Standards could help solve.

● Improving efficiency across the whole supply network

● Provide accurate and complete product data

● Traceability requirements met

● Improving data quality

Knowing about GS1 US

GS1 is a definite organization that promotes cooperation among industries to enhance supply chains. It is the world’s most extensively implemented supply chain standard system. In 1974, the organization was founded after the introduction of new disruptive technology: the barcode. GS1’s mission was, and still is, to improve the efficiency of the supply chain and support members in their growth. It has grown from a collection of fundamental barcode standards to a language that allows for capturing, identifying, and sharing important business information at all stages of the commerce process.

Standards in Traceability: A Closer Look at GS1

Today, GS1 services more than 2 million companies across 25 industries (including apparel and healthcare) in 150 countries[1]. Its services are delivered by 112 regional organizations that provide Identifiers to its members and promote product verification standards. As a result, GS1 identifiers get scanned more frequently than any search on Google (5billion+). GS1 makes it possible for almost all businesses selling or producing goods to now connect to the internet and make their products smarter by using GS1 specifications.

Benefits of GS1, US Standards Initiative

Organizations can hold an essential role in shaping the future of the food service sector and its value chain by being a division of the Foodservice US Standards Initiative. Businesses will have the opportunity to see firsthand how GS1 Standards work for business improvement by receiving GS1 US-provided education, support services, and expertise.

Moreover, a cohesive working setting with peers, trading partners for learning and sharing best practices in operational improvement may lead to new opportunities that can provide modern solutions for business problems.

How can GS1 US Boost Supply Chain Visibility?

GS1 US has concluded the initial stage of a multiphase proof-of-principle centered on supply chain visibility, solutions that leveraged cloud computing, blockchain, and other traceability technology. Multiple traceability platforms can now intercommunicate and provide information concerning a product’s advancements along the supply chain, enabling end-to-end food traceability.

FoodLogiQ and IBM Food Trust collaborated to create and simulate the data sharing in the seafood supply network between four traceability systems leveraging GS1 Standards. The group discovered that compatibility among solutions was achievable using the standards for unique identifications of products and places using the GS1 Electronic Product Code Information Services – EPCIS (a standardized data model). EPCIS provides a consistent format to share event details data and convey essential information from production until sale. This includes uniformly facilitating the transmissions of important tracking developments like whether a product was transported, received, packed or, transformed.

Standards in Traceability: A Closer Look at GS1

GS1 US and the four companies that provide solutions and industry collaborators (including suppliers, distributors, retailers, and foodservice operators) will work collectively in the following proof of concept phase to implement EPCIS. They will also explore ways EPCIS can be developed further beyond this for real-world product tracing. Before going on to the following stage, the group will investigate cases that refer to standards for tracking and any industry-specific demands to facilitate interchangeability. The proof-of-concept will be focused on validating and defining industry data requirements.

The next phase of GS1 US will examine data requirements to determine if any new protocols or standards can be utilized to interoperate to allow access, privacy, and permissions. Later phases will focus on the application of distributed ledger technologies in more complex use cases. The collaboration, according to GS1 US, will maintain a consistent approach as traceability standards and associated technologies, such as blockchain evolve.


Visibility allows you to provide transparency and traceability by providing information that consumers and trading partners can rely upon to make informed and efficient decisions. GS1 Standards are the basis for global visibility solutions that use a wide range of information sharing mechanisms, including blockchain. Many companies from different industries share information to traceability using GS1 Standards. This allows for a consistent global framework regardless of product type, channel, or technology provider. Data is the modern currency. GS1 standards are the means of achieving their full potential. Businesses can make data derived from the GS1 standard more accessible for their products to reach new markets faster, increase consumer trust, improve the consumer experience, gain insights and streamline business processes.

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SourceTrace's advanced technology platform DATAGREEN provides comprehensive solutions to manage all aspects of the agricultural value chain.


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