The Boston Seafood Show was the setting for the presentation of the guide. (Photo: Stock File)
New traceability implementation guide introduced
Wednesday, March 23, 2011, 01:50 (GMT + 9)
The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) and GS1 US introduced a new implementation guide at the International Boston Seafood Show for traceability standards in the US seafood supply chain.
The guide is available to the public for free on the NFI website. It was created through the collaboration of NFI, GS1 US and stakeholders of the domestic seafood industry to offer a consistent and practical seafood-traceability system that can be used on a voluntary basis across the industry.
It works by establishing minimum standards and best-practice recommendations for tracking seafood as it traverses the supply chain from aquaculture farms to processors, suppliers, distributors, retailers and foodservice operators.
“The Traceability Guide reinforces the seafood industry’s commitment to providing our customers and consumers with safe and sustainable seafood,” declared Steve Mavity, senior VP of quality assurance at tuna company Bumble Bee Foods. “It will allow us to leverage GS1 standards to enhance and standardise our product tracing efforts.”
The new guidelines are derived from the GS1 System - currently the world’s most broadly employed supply chain standards system - and pertain to all seafood products used for human consumption.
As well, the guide works with all levels of the product hierarchy – shipping logistics unit information, lots, pallets, cases, consumer items with data elements and so on - and applies to all national distribution channel participants, such as fish farms, boats, processors, suppliers, exporters, distributors, retailers and foodservice operators.
“A tremendous amount of thinking went into this document,” assured Barbara Blakistone, PhD and director of scientific affairs at NFI. “The Traceability Guide is destined to be the benchmark for the seafood industry.”
The guide measures 53 pages and carries illustrations and photographs showing detailed “how-to” instructions for use of numerical identifiers, barcodes and other traceability standards.
“The seafood industry has been moving with amazing speed and clarity of purpose on this initiative,” said Gay Whitney, senior VP of industry engagement at GS1 US. “Seeing their momentum and commitment to using standards, I’m confident the initiative will pay enormous dividends to consumers and the industry alike.
Some of the organisations that worked to complete the Traceability For Seafood: US Implementation Guide are American Seafood, Bumble Bee Foods, Darden Restaurants, Glacier Fish, Gorton’s, Handy International, Icelandic Seafoods, Inland Seafoods, North Carolina State University, Pacific Seafoods, Red Chamber and Trace Register.
By Natalia Real