GS1 US has prioritized food traceability for well over a decade. By partnering with industry to introduce both the Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative and the GS1 US Retail Grocery Initiative, as well as sponsoring the Produce Traceability Initiative, GS1 US has been at the forefront in driving the use of open, global standards to promote a safe and visible food supply chain.
More recently, GS1 US has been collaborating with industry and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on how GS1 Standards can support the New Era of Smarter Food Safety to create a more digital, traceable, and safer food system.
On July 13, 2020, Frank Yiannas, FDA Deputy Commissioner, Food Policy & Response along with FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, officially unveiled the Blueprint where they provided insight on the four pillars of this initiative and emphasized the need for tech-enabled food traceability that leverages data standards across industry to “speak the same language” – specifically referencing global standards, including GS1.
The Blueprint refers to the need for the development of foundational components that:
• Help the food system to speak the same traceability language through the use and standardization of critical tracking events and key data elements.
• Strive to enable industry compliance with FDA's traceability regulation using existing consensus standards, where possible.
• Play a lead role in promoting and participating in governance and harmonization with U.S. and international regulatory counterparts through bodies such as GS1 and Codex.
• Develop ways to achieve interoperability. Specifically, work with standards bodies, technology providers, and users to help ensure systems are designed with interoperability as a foundational component.
All stakeholders in the retail grocery and foodservice industries are encouraged to visit the New Era of Smarter Food Safety website to learn more about the Blueprint and also view the recent “Fireside Chat by Deputy Commissioner Yiannas with GS1 US on New Era of Smarter Food Safety.”
GS1 US looks forward to continued collaboration with all industry stakeholders and the U.S. FDA over the coming years to help digitize the supply chain per the agency vision.