GS1 US, together with four solution providers, has completed the first phase of a multi-phase proof-of-concept focused on supply chain visibility and included solutions that leveraged blockchain, cloud and other traceability technology. Multiple traceability systems can now interoperate to transmit and exchange information about a product’s journey throughout the supply chain to support end-to-end food traceability.
The providers collaborating with the standards organization, FoodLogiQ, IBM Food Trust, ripe.io and SAP, defined and simulated seafood supply chain data sharing across four traceability systems leveraging GS1 Standards. The group found that interoperability among solutions was possible when leveraging the standards for the unique identification of products and locations, as well as GS1 Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) as a standardized data model. EPCIS provided a consistent format for sharing event data and transmitting key information from production to sale by uniformly facilitating the transmission of critical tracking events, including whether a product had been shipped, received, packed or transformed.
“GS1 US is passionate about leading industry toward interoperable solutions,” noted Melanie Nuce, the organization’s SVP, corporate development. “These four solution providers have joined together with GS1 US to help solve the challenge of systems interoperability because they recognize the value of GS1 Standards as a foundation for emerging technologies like blockchain and understand the tremendous benefit of that consistency to the end user.”
In the next proof-of-concept phase, GS1 US will work with the four solution providers and industry partners, among them suppliers, distributors, retailers and foodservice operators, to implement EPCIS and figure out how it can be further extended in real-world product tracing. The proof-of-concept will focus on defining and validating industry data requirements before advancing to a phase exploring use cases that make use of traceability standards and any industry-specific requirements to facilitate interoperability at that point.
The next phase’s goal will be to understand data requirements and find out whether there’s a new technical standard or protocol need for interoperability to enable permissioning, privacy and access controls. Later phases will look into the value of distributed ledger technology in more advanced use cases.
According to GS1 US, the collaboration will ensure a consistent direction going forward as traceability standards and their supporting technologies, including blockchain, scale and mature.
Ewing, New Jersey-based GS1 US, a member of GS1 global, is a not-for-profit information standards organization that facilitates industry collaboration to help improve supply chain visibility and efficiency through the use of GS1 Standards, the most widely used supply chain standards system in the world.