Global food Supply Chains, with geographically dispersed suppliers and customers, are under increased scrutiny from customers, increasingly concerned about food safety and quality.
An added challenge is in effecting product recalls efficiently, accurately and with great speed through reverse logistics in the event of sub standard product quality. Consistent and efficient monitoring of product quality as it moves forward through the distribution chain as well as tracking product recalls require efficient and seamless track & trace systems which use standardised identifiers for tracking food items, responsible stakeholders, facilities etc.
GS1 works closely with global food Supply Chain partners to help them overcome challenges concerning availability of fresh, safe and quality food at any given time by aligning both downstream and upstream processes.
Applications of GS1 standards and solution in food Supply Chains include:
- GS1 Traceability Standards (GTS) for tracking and tracing of fresh produce during its distribution and retail.
- GS1 DataBar for automatic identification of difficult to label products like individual pieces of fruit and vegetables.
- GS1 MobileCom for extended packaging information, e.g. product testing certificate, recipe, etc which empower consumers to make informed choices about the food that fits their diet (fair-trade, organic, etc)
- Product authentication for brand owners to combat counterfeiting and to ensure consumers safety.
In India, APEDA has implemented a grape traceability system which uses GS1 standards for farm identification and for traceability of physical goods in the supply chain originating from the grower to the processor/ packer and onwards.