GS1 standards and traceability

Challenges have intensified and new drivers have emerged, calling for a sense of urgency to create better traceability solutions. There exists a growing need for increased transparency between trading partners and consumers. Retailers, suppliers, healthcare providers, consumers and patients are all demanding fast, accurate and complete information that can be seamlessly accessed across traceability systems.

Data driven traceability

Today trading partners and consumers are asking more than the basic, “where is my shipment?” and “when was it delivered?” Indeed questions about the products and services they purchase and use require access to more granular traceability information and greater visibility into the change of ownership. “Was this product sustainably produced?” “Is it safe to eat?”

This is where GS1 comes in. GS1 standards are the global language of business—a language for identifying, capturing and sharing information automatically and accurately, so that anyone who receives that information can understand it, no matter who or where they are.

Standards-based traceability system

Implementing a traceability system within a supply chain requires all parties involved to share standardised information relating to products. The identification and communication standards that constitute the GS1 System, and the principles on which they are designed, make them ideally suited for the purpose of traceability. Furthermore, the global reach of the GS1 System and its universal acceptance by consumers, businesses, and governments, make them uniquely positioned to facilitate the search for an appropriate response to the traceability challenge at local and international levels.

Within the GS1 System of Standards there are a number of symbologies and ID numbers that can help companies to share traceability information such as GS1 128 and the SSCC.


fTRACE is a GS1 standards-based traceability platform enabling events based traceability recording and multi-party, rights enabled access.

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