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Traceability set to improve with the GS1 DataBar

GS1 have launched the new GS1 DataBar, to be implemented globally from January 2014.

This in an important development and will impact retailers both locally and internationally.

The GS1 DataBar is a family of seven barcodes, four of which can be read by omnidirectional scanners at Point-of-Sale. The smaller size will provide several advantages to anyone working in the supply chain and specifically for the fresh produce industry, allowing products that have not been previously barcoded to be quickly and accurately scanned at Point-of-Sale. The benefits of the new GS1 DataBar include:

•              Improved Traceability – with more information input into the barcodes

•              Enhanced and wider category management

•              Product authentication

•              Global variable measure product identification

•              Increased shrink control through more effective markdown management

As an example, the GS1 DataBar provides for the automated markdown of products approaching expiry date. This saves time and resources in manual markdown and gives retailers the scope to improve product rotation and eliminate non-sales from expired products.

This will increase the level of confidence in the safety of fresh produce and aligns with goals of the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI).

Furthermore, the long-anticipated report produced for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) (report), was recently released and fits also with the PTI and the developments GS1 are making for traceability of fresh Produce. The recommendations in the IFT report including: encouraging current industry-led initiatives, not excluding commodities; accepting electronic traceability data/records during product tracing investigations; and requiring all organizations that handle food in the supply chain to identify and maintain records of traceability related information.

It is recommended that anyone working in the supply chain, no matter what size, understand the GS1 DataBar.

For more information on the GS1 DataBar, download the brochure.

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