» GSI US Launches Foodservice Initiative
GS1 US, Lawrenceville, NJ, has announced that 55 foodservice manufacturers, distributors and operators have launched the Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative, and have funded the GS1 US Team for Foodservice to guide execution.
The Initiative recommends the adoption of a common timeline for voluntary individual company implementation of GS1 Global standards for company identification, item identification and product description; 45 of the Initiative’s founding member companies have already voluntarily committed to this common timeline.
“We know our customers need more accurate information,” says Larry G. Pulliam, executive vice president, foodservice operations, Sysco Corp., Houston. “In addition, our suppliers need it, our associates need it and the industry needs it as well. Through the Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative, involving leadership from all parts of the supply chain, we commit to adopting GS1 standards to improve food safety and traceability, take cost and complexity out of the supply chain and improve the experience for our customers.”
Industry organizations and founding members of the Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative cite three main objectives and industry-wide benefits as a result of companies choosing to adopt and implement GS1 standards:
• Drive waste out of the foodservice supply chain;
• Improve product information for customers, and
• Establish a foundation for improving food safety and traceability.
The Initiative is striving for 75 percent adoption of GS1 standards throughout the foodservice industry, measured in terms of revenue, by 2015, and is endorsed by the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA), the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA), the National Restaurant Association, and GS1 Canada Foodservice.
Near-term steps in the Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative timeline include:
By Q4 2009: Companies assign GS1 Global Location Numbers to their headquarters; By Q3 2010: Manufacturers assign GS1 Global Trade Item Numbers to products and include them on order guides and other trading partner documentation;
By Q2 2011: Manufacturers and brand owners will publish product and company identification and related logistics information to trading partners. Distributors retrieve product information; populate back end systems and customer product catalogs.
Trading partners choosing to adopt and implement GS1 standards will access standard product information through the GS1 Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN), an open platform that ensures continuous real-time exchange of consistent, accurate product information among supply chain partners. Many technology providers are certified to help companies with implementation; certification is required to ensure adherence to GS1 global standards.
Committed providers include widely known players in foodservice, including AFS, which announced that it will become certified for GS1 data publishing and retrieval; Aligntrac, which already is certified for GS1 data publishing and retrieval; FSE, which already is certified for data publishing and retrieval and is getting certified to become a GS1 GDSN data pool; 1SYNC, the world’s largest GDSN data pool, which also is certified for GS1 data publishing and retrieval; and iTradeNetwork, which will become certified to publish, retrieve and become a GS1 GDSN data pool.
GDSN data pools are interoperable—i.e., publishing to one or retrieving data from one means that companies can retrieve data from all GDSN-certified data pools without additional fees.
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