Track and trace your products from one end of the value chain to the other with GS1 traceability standards. From the processing of raw materials to the ultimate sale, disposal or recycling of products, traceability provides full visibility of the product journey. Greater tracking and traceability does not only help connect the dots along the way, it also provides trust from the start.

The issue of traceability is becoming increasingly important across many sectors as consumers and patients ask more questions about the products they purchase and use.

Providing a framework for all sectors, the interoperability of GS1 traceability standards allows organizations to act as one digitally-connected supply chain, providing you with the information you need about all participants in the supply chain, their parties and their roles.

The key to GS1 traceability standards is the global unique identification and data capture of trade items, assets, logistic units, parties and locations. In addition, traceability standards can track critical data exchanges at points along the supply chain, aligning information between trading partners and providing a record if a product’s journey ever needs to be reviewed.

Benefits of Traceability Standards

  • Enables targeted and effective recall of dangerous products from the market
  • Informs consumers and patients of key product attributes, such as allergenic food ingredients
  • Identifies counterfeit products before they enter the market and gives customers increased ability to verify authenticity
  • Improves consumer and patient safety and protects brand integrity
  • Reduces shrinkage and waste
  • Provides visibility into transit status, including life-saving medicine meant for patients

Documentation for Traceability Standards

Useful documentation and links related to traceability are listed below.


GS1 traceability standards were developed to provide a traceability framework for all industry sectors. These documents provide guidance on product identification, information gathering, record keeping requirements and more for the purposes of traceability.


GS1 Global Meat and Poultry Traceability Guidelines

Practical guides for those who are responsible for implementing traceability in their company’s operations and supply chain for meat and poultry processors, distributors, wholesalers, food service operators and retailers.

GS1 Global Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Traceability Guidelines

This guideline serves as a best practice guide to implementing traceability in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable (Produce) Industry.

GS1 Global Fish, Seafood and Aquaculture Guidelines

This guideline provides guidance to assist fish, seafood and aquaculture distribution channel participants and Other GS1 Member Organizations (MOs) in using the GS1 standards.

Addendum "Section 5 Data element formats": In Canada, to accommodate the reference to “eCom (electronic communications)” X12 EDI (Electronic Data Exchange) standards are used to communicate order to cash business information to trading partners. Example: The business processes used in “Order to Cash” include transactions such as; PO (Purchase Order 850), Invoice 810, ASN (Ship Notice/Manifest 856), etc.

GS1 Global Wine Traceability Guidelines

This guideline provides recommendations and guidance needed to understand and implement the GS1 numbering and barcoding from the grape grower to the retailer.

Addendum "Section Trade items that may be crossing the point of sale (case, carton)": In Canada, only Option Two is supported. “For cases and cartons that will never be sold through a retail point of sale, identification is done using Application Identifiers (01) (GTIN) and (10) (Lot Number), and encoded in a GS1-128 barcode.

GS1 Global Product Recall Traceability Guidelines

This guideline provides guidance on how to execute the product recall process in conformance with GS1 standards when it impacts products traded in more than one recall jurisdiction.

GS1 Global Healthcare Traceability Guidelines

These guidelines assist in the implementation of traceability within a healthcare setting.