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Jonas Batt

Head of Industry Engagement
Consumer Goods / Retail

T +41 58 800 70 44
F +41 58 800 73 99

Traceability with GS1 standards

Traceability means transparency of flows of goods and data – a basic requirement for a modern supply chain. GS1 standards and products make it possible to implement the requirements with globally unique identifiers. Reliable process management and automation of data exchange are the main focus.  

Consumers, authorities and various quality assurance and product standards demand transparent information on raw materials and primary packaging. Brand owners need to be able to fully answer questions quickly, at batch level, on the source of raw materials, production methods and staging points. With a good traceability information system a brand owner can guarantee protection for consumers and itself. It can quickly contain any problems and provide adequate information, which builds confidence among consumers and the authorities.

Advantages and benefits of full traceability

GS1 standards facilitate traceability in an open supply chain. Globally unique identifiers for items, retail units, logistics units and locations combined with a global semantics for batch and serial numbers and other movement data allow traceability of products and locations down to batch or package level.

If information is exchanged electronically (via EDI) it is largely automatable. On top of this, using suitable data carriers (EPC/RFID) will enable real-time traceability of goods using Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS).

This means the GS1 traceability standards provide a concerted, consistent approach along the whole supply chain, which makes for a safe investment.

How GS1 Switzerland can assist you

The GS1 working group, Traceability II, has worked out a recommended approach for Switzerland, which can be used across sectors when implementing traceability. There is also fTRACE which provides a comprehensive solution and sets new standards in traceability.