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National Restaurant Association - Foodservice companies reach major milestones in GS1 US Standards Initiative

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Foodservice companies reach major milestones in GS1 US Standards Initiative

The industry-driven Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative is celebrating its two-year anniversary this month, and GS1 US reports that the industry has now passed the halfway mark on the way to a 75-percent voluntary adoption of GS1 standards by 2015.

The Initiative was launched in partnership with the National Restaurant Association, International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) and the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) as an industry collaboration to drive waste out of the foodservice supply chain, enhance product information and establish a foundation for improved traceability and food safety.

“Traceability is critical for food safety,” said Ann Oka, Senior Vice President of Supply Chain Management for Sodexo. “If we don’t know where a product came from it is very difficult to ensure quality control, let alone recall products in the case of a foodborne illness outbreak.”

GS1 standards provide a common platform for structuring and sharing product information globally, and include: Global Location Numbers (GLNs) for location identification, Global Trade Item Numbers® (GTINs®) for product identification and the Global Data Synchronization Network™ (GDSN®) to exchange information through a network of certified electronic data pools.

US Foods (formerly U.S. Foodservice), Performance Food Group, Ben E. Keith and other leading foodservice companies are all using a common platform to receive up-to-date product information from their suppliers. In addition, Darden Restaurants and UFPC (Yum! Brands) are among the operators using GLNs and GTINs to standardize the way their supply chain community identifies locations and products.

To date, companies making up 55 percent of the foodservice industry’s manufacturer revenue and 45 percent of the distributor revenue are using GS1 standards. Since the launch of the Foodservice Initiative, its membership has grown to include 72 – and counting – total members, including ARAMARK, Butterball, Dot Foods, The J.M. Smucker Company, Kraft Foodservice, Subway/IPC, Sysco, Tyson and others.

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