Traceability is a new trend in the food safety program.

Identification and information management - a means to quickly and accurately detect or recall products.

Process view from the GS1 system perspective.

Traceability is the ability to trace the movement, location and origin of food, feed, animals and animal components intended or intended to be used as food through all stages of production, processing and distribution.

In order to implement traceability, solutions must be implemented at all stages of the supply chain to enable the origin, location, route of movement of a product or batch of products to be determined. An effective traceability system should allow you to trace products down or up the supply chain, i.e. to answer the questions "Where?" is the object of interest and "Where did it come from?", i.e. to determine the origin of the object.

Movement and location tracking (tracking) is a set of measures that allows products to be identified along the supply chain according to one or more criteria (e.g. batch number or expiration date, etc.). Tracking is used in practice when product recalls are necessary.

Traceability of origin (tracing) allows to identify the place of origin and related characteristics of a specific product at any stage of the supply chain using several search criteria.

The globalization of trade, the increasing complexity of just-in-time production processes and supply chains, and the centralization of production and distribution processes require a fundamental rethinking of most of the pathways to get the "right" products to the consumer at the "right" price.

Previously, food safety was perceived and positioned as a voluntary responsibility of companies. But the publication of EU Directive 2001/95/EC on General Product Safety (EU Directive 2001/95/EC on General Product Safety) in December 2001 and European Regulation 178/2002 on Food Safety (EU Regulation 178/2002 on Food Safety) in January 2002 caused a significant change in the state of affairs. Moreover, the requirements reflected in these documents came into force from January 15, 2004 and respectively from January 1, 2005.

Traceability is now an absolutely legal requirement and companies have no choice but to comply with the new requirements or not. Implementing the appropriate systems and processes allows you to stay competitive!

From an information management perspective, the implementation of traceability systems in the supply chain requires all trading partners involved to systematically combine the physical flow of materials, semi-finished and finished products with the information flow that describes them. All of this requires a holistic view of the supply chain, which is best achieved by using a common business communication language, the GS1 system.

To ensure maximum market acceptance of its traceability recommendations, GS1 actively cooperates with interested industry organizations (GCI, ECR Europe, CIES) and intergovernmental bodies (ISO, CODEX), as well as with the International AIM Association in their development.

To further develop GS1 system capabilities and assist users, key principles of traceability can be identified and a sequence of implementation actions can be built that link them to available technologies and relevant GS1 system tools.

Principles of Traceability Available Technologies GS1 system tools
Unique identification Automatic identification GTIN, SSCC, GLN, Application Identifiers AIs
Data collection and recording Automated data capture EAN/UPC, UCC/EAN-128
Communication management Electronic data processing Software applications
Data sharing Electronic data interchange EANCOM®/XML

More information on the GS1 website