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GFTC currently focused on seafood traceability

IFT’s Global Food Traceability Center (GFTC) and its partners work together to share knowledge, expertise, applied research, data, and resources to help address global food traceability challenges and opportunities across the supply chain.

Since 2017, IFT’s GFTC remains engaged in one of its most significant undertakings: working with the World Wildlife Fund for Nature to advance a unified framework by convening seafood companies and other relevant stakeholders as part of the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability. From August 2018 to the present, the GFTC has been producing several outputs to advance seafood traceability, in addition to the standards and supporting documents. 

Most notably, the GDST released the GDST 1.0 standards in March, the first-ever global standards for tracking seafood products from point of origin to point of sale. These standards serve as a critical piece in the fight against illegal fishing and unethical labor practices. They aim to change the game for an industry under increasing pressure to demonstrate ethical and sustainable sourcing.

While the pandemic caused the cancellation of various industry events, such as prominent seafood shows like Seafood Expo North America, interest in seafood traceability has not diminished. In some scenarios, it has actually increased due to traceability’s potential to increase resiliency in supply chains and support remote verification of key performance indicators. To support global adoption of the GDST 1.0, GFTC and WWF created a suite of onboarding tools to assess seafood company supply chains and roadmap implementation steps. 

Additional GFTC-led activities include:

  • Early Implementations among Live Supply Chains – GFTC with WWF are facilitating implementations to further enhance current documentation and have featured case studies among diverse geographic and commodity scenarios. One company has already implemented the GDST standards for live shipments resulting from these implementation exercises. Six additional companies are at various stages of implementation. 
  • White Papers and Peer Reviewed Articles – Members of the GFTC team completed a literature review of a peer-reviewed study on 1st mile digitization and authored an article for Food Technology magazine about supply chain verification. Additionally, there are beta tests currently in progress that are being documented for forthcoming white papers.
  • Technical Workshops and Digital Summits – More than 12 solution providers have collaborated with GFTC on implementing the standards. The GFTC team is designing a virtual digital summit to test interoperability among solution providers.

Securing food across the supply chain is critical to health and security, poverty alleviation, and national viability. Linking markets to sustainable and legal production is critical, and without reliable information, sustainability cannot be achieved. GFTC outputs aim to strengthen the performance of the agriculture and food industry by raising understanding of the value and importance of tracking and tracing of food, and by fostering collaborative research and communications that provide traceability tools to raise the capabilities of agri-food businesses.

As we look to the future, plan to join us on November 17 for insightful discussions exploring the latest thinking into the future of supply chain digitization and the regulatory landscape. To learn more and register, visit our Food Safety Transformation InFocus web page.

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