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Traceability Reference Book

Discover best-in-class GS1 traceability implementations.


Traceability Reference Book 2021: successful traceability implementations with G...

In the GS1 Traceability Reference Book, you can learn how the use GS1 standards is enabling traceability across a diverse set of industry sectors and supply chains. The stories demonstrate real value earned regardless of the investments these companies have made. You will also read how taking a technology agnostic approach to standards empowers organisations to choose what is most appropriate for their data sharing needs in pursuit of traceability benefits.


Rothex: traceability of eggs has never been easier than with GS1 standards

Rothex is an Argentinian company that produces, packages and distributes eggs. The company wanted to develop a significantly improved traceability system for its storage and distribution processes. Yet, a major challenge was how to determine the batch size. Since many farms supply Rothex with eggs, they tend to be in heterogeneous quantities that generate a mixed distribution of eggs in differently-sized trays.

To solve this issue and improve its stock handling system, Rothex turned to GS1 standards to help track and trace its egg products. Now, the Rothex traceability system leverages GS1 standards to uniquely identify the eggs by lot/farm and pallet. Each pallet of multiple lots of eggs is identified with a GS1 Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC) that in encoded with the lot identifiers in a GS1-128 barcode. By scanning the barcode, the company can easily identify the different lots or farms from which the eggs came.

Rothex has realised multiple benefits from its new traceability system. For example, the company has lowered administration costs due to reduced time associated with searching for information. They can also easily locate egg products with an improved stock management system. With the exchange and integration of knowledge during the traceability project, global teamwork has resulted with a new work culture and ways of working together.


QUHOMAtrace is a unique combination of IoT and traceability data for upstream vi...

Farms, cooperatives and other agri-food businesses want to create a competitive advantage by addressing consumers’ needs for easy accessibility to valuable information about their crops and food. Yet, there was no single solution that traced the exact location and climate conditions of crops’ cultivation—while also linking crops to the final products eaten by consumers.

QUHOMAtrace from Future Intelligence, an IoT provider, and GS1 data sharing standards have addressed this need for traceability. The QUHOMAtrace platform is designed as an innovative integrator of entity-based registries (e.g., IoT data) and event-based information (e.g., data produced from traceability applications). GS1 EPC (Electronic Product Code)-enabled standards provide the needed foundation for the identification of farm plots, each crop’s batch/lots, and sensors associated with the farm plots and crops, enabling the traceability of crops from farm to fork. Farming visibility events are captured and stored as interoperable, GS1-standardised EPC Information Services (EPCIS) event data.

For the harvested product, information on events prior to a crop’s harvest is now available, such as when it was planted, how it was treated and information from sensors. Farmers can now communicate with their procurers, buyers and/or consumers every detail that happens in the field. They can receive customised advice on the use of a product, how to lower the cost of an external quality inspection, or even how to increase consumer trust and loyalty.

Farmers can also get aggregated data that helps them determine which farm practices can increase a field’s capacity to produce quality crops and food. It can provide the needed justification of a farmer’s environmental decision since this data proves the necessity of certain farm practices, such as irrigation and spraying performance, insecticides applied and more.


Hungast Group: innovative solutions for consumer safety in foodservice

In September 2015, the 37/2014 (IV.30), the Ministry of Human Resources’ (EMMI) regulation, took effect in Hungary that outlines catering, nutrition and health principles for implementation by mass catering companies and mass caterers when providing dietary food.

To comply with regulatory and consumer demands, Hungast Group turned to GS1 Hungary to help build this traceability system based on GS1 global standards. Now, on every reusable dietbox, there is a unique GS1 product identifier encoded in a GS1 DataMatrix barcode that globally identifies the specific food in the box, the institute and the type of consumer it will be delivered to. By scanning the GS1 DataMatrix barcode, Hungast Group has access to real-time information that has helped it increase efficiencies in preparation, cooking and logistics processes.

With improved processes, Hungast Group can now provide individual-specific diets so that all consumer demands are fulfilled, resulting in 100% accuracy in dietetic foods. The company’s new, two-step verification system has helped the commissioning staff, so that the risk of multiple errors and the amount of time spent has decreased. With this, working has become easier for colleagues, improving productivity.

Before the traceability system, one third of dietboxes had to be removed from the catering system and made up every 6 months. Hungast’s new GS1 standards-based solution has eliminated the need to do this and provides full transparency.


Airfield Estate uses GS1 standards to improve traceability, reduce waste and inc...

Airfield Estate, a charitable trust and working farm, is designed to facilitate active learning focused on food, farming and the land. A complete farm-to-consumer experience has been created that educates the public at all stages of the food journey, linking healthy soils to animals and plants and food production. To support its mission, the farm wanted to provide accessible product data to consumers, enabling them to be more informed about its milk product.

To increase the transparency of milk’s journey, Airfield Estate implemented cow-to-consumer traceability and advanced labelling throughout its milk production process. The farm implemented GS1 standards and fTRACE, a cloud-based solution for batch-specific product traceability, on its milk labels.

Intelligent barcodes are used on Airfield’s milk labels that encode production information and fTRACE-provided traceability data in a closed loop production and sales environment. An fTRACE URL is embedded in a QR code, displaying the milk’s traceability data to consumers and linking directly to the fTRACE website and data source. A GS1 two-dimensional (2D) DataMatrix barcode is included for closed-loop proof of concept, which incorporates food waste and product recall.

This data gives Airfield Estate the ability to display and educate stakeholders on the implementation of full supply chain traceability and smart barcode data—all in one location. The traceability solution has also helped Airfield improve stock management and prevent food waste with the use of expiry dates. With the scan of the QR code on the intelligent label, consumers are better informed. And, with data provided with the scan of the DataMatrix barcode, Airfield can execute faster product recalls, if needed, increasing consumer safety.


IPC/Subway delivers the promise of end-to-end traceability throughout the Subway...

Independent Purchasing Cooperative (IPC), a Subway® Franchisee-owned company, is responsible for the supply chain processes for the more than 43,000 Subway restaurants globally. IPC needed a system to enable full supply chain visibility to optimise its operations. The Cooperative was focused on ensuring food safety for Subway guests and finding business efficiencies that end-to-end traceability would bring.


To achieve this challenging initiative, IPC developed a strategy for getting all of its suppliers and distributors on board. The company collaborated with its supply chain partners to implement GS1 standards for quality data to meet the information transparency needs of its restaurants and consumers alike. Today, suppliers and distributors use GS1 standards to uniquely identify their products and locations as well as exchange product information through the Global Data Synchronisation Network™ (GDSN®). Subway Franchise Owners use a specialised app to capture and use product data at restaurants for the benefit of their operations and customers.


IPC has been able to quantify US $1.3 million in annual cost avoidance by maximising truckload capacity based on accurate product data enabled by GS1 standards. In addition, standardised product data drives operational efficiencies, reduces supply chain costs, and saves time and labour. By using quality product data, Subway restaurants can improve their inventory management and ensure enhanced food safety practices with faster and more precise responses to product recalls and withdrawals. IPC and its independently owned Subway restaurants are looking to further differentiate and enhance consumers’ experiences with customised offers and other innovative approaches to supply chain management.

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