Collaborating for better traceability: the SSC endorses the GDST Standards

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The Sustainable Seafood Coalition (SSC) has collectively endorsed the GDST 1.0 Standards and Guidelines for Interoperable Seafood Traceability. SSC members trade seafood from around the world. Having robust traceability systems in place across these global supply chains is an integral component of responsible seafood sourcing. In a letter published today, the coalition commends the work of the GDST to develop a unified framework within which the seafood industry can implement these systems.

At an SSC Members’ Meeting, the coalition agreed to endorse GDST 1.0 and integrate GDST principles into the SSC’s definition of robust traceability practices. The SSC members and Secretariat will work to reflect these developments in key SSC documents.

The SSC Codes of Conduct currently include a commitment to robust traceability measures. The GDST 1.0 Standard represents significant progress in collaboratively-defined standards of what such measures should include. The SSC will establish a Traceability Working Group to update its Codes of Conduct and Guidance documents to reflect best practice, in collaboration with GDST colleagues. In addition, several members have already chosen to individually adopt and implement GDST 1.0 within their own supply chains.

The SSC seeks to encourage business commitments to responsible sourcing and to establish common language and practices in seafood sustainability. Global alignment of traceability practices is an integral component of achieving these goals. Implementing interoperable traceability systems requires collaboration and standardisation across supply chains; the SSC has worked with these cross-cutting principles for the ten years since it was established.

A number of SSC members have already adopted the Standard, including Sainsbury’s, Lyons Seafoods, New England Seafood International, Youngs, Morrisons, Hilton Seafood UK, Coop, Seafresh Group. At the SSC members meeting, the coalition agreed to encourage the wider adoption of the Standard by individual businesses. By integrating the principles of the GDST Standard 1.0 into the SSC Codes of Conduct and Guidance documents, SSC members will be better supported in implementing best practice traceability processes within their own supply chains.

Joe Prosho from Morrisons said “The GDST Standards provide an invaluable framework for aligning seafood traceability standards and we look forward to wider recognition and adoption across the seafood industry”.

William Davies from Hilton Seafood UK said “Responsible sourcing of seafood involves ensuring the integrity of the product, along with relevant data flows in the supply chain. Hilton Seafoods support and encourage the wider role of out of the GDST within seafood supply chains and the alignment of data points within the agreed KDEs for wild and farmed products.”

The Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (GDST) is an international, business-to-business platform established to advance a unified framework for interoperable seafood traceability practices. The Dialogue brings together a broad spectrum of seafood industry stakeholders from across different parts of the supply chain, as well as relevant civil society experts from diverse regions.

The Dialogue developed interoperable industry standards (known officially as GDST 1.0) to; improve the reliability of seafood information, reduce the cost of seafood traceability, contribute to supply chain risk reduction, and contribute to securing the long-term social and environmental sustainability of the sector.