What is Traceability?

In manufacturing industries, managers constantly need to know the answers to a variety of questions: Does this shipment contain what we ordered? Is the physical flow of my goods optimised? Would I have the information I needed, if there were a recall or withdrawal?

In hospitals and patient care facilities, doctors and nurses need to ensure that the right patient is getting the right product and treatment.

In supermarket aisles and in home kitchens, consumers are asking themselves if food is safe, if it contains what the package says it does.

In shops and in restaurants, people of many religious faiths are asking themselves if the food products they are purchasing have been prepared in a way that properly respects their beliefs.

Traceability can provide the answers to questions like these – and many others. Some form of traceability is already a legal requirement in certain sectors in the United States, Canada, the European Union and some countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa. But beyond mandatory traceability, more and more industries are voluntarily deploying traceability programs to improve efficiency and to help protect their brands and ensure that their food, drugs, medical devices or toys are safe. In short: traceability is now a vital part of the supply chain.

But traceability can only be achieved successfully if it is built upon global standards that can act as the foundation for clear, understandable exchanges for everyone involved.

And that’s where GS1 comes in.


Acrobat-Reader Traceability Brochure 
Acrobat-Reader Global Traceability Standard

What is this whole traceability thing?