New Technology and Standards

Today the meat industry is facing numerous challenges, including the ability to uniquely identify manufacturers, key product attributes (e.g., lot number, expiration date, etc.) and to provide a systematic way to trace products. Another common challenge is the need to capture product identification at the point-of-sale. A third challenge is the inability to participate in current supply chain systems, including technologies and initiatives such as electronic commerce, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and data synchronization.

In 2004, the Fresh Food Trade Association created an Industry Roadmap called Building the Fresh Foods Supply Chain of the Future. The FFTA recommends the adoption of GS1 standards for the fresh food supply chain. Specifically, every product should be identified with a GTIN containing the U.P.C. Company Prefix of the organization that produced it. All cases of fresh food should be marked with a barcode or RFID tag containing GTIN, Weight, Lot or Batch Number, and Expiration Date. All random-weight item-level meat products should be marked with a GS1 DataBar® Expanded barcode containing, at a minimum, a GTIN, Weight, Price, Lot or Batch Number, and Expiration Date.

Adopting this proposed solution across the entire fresh food industry will yield significant benefits, including increased information capture, faster POS throughput, effective category management, effective traceability, fresher products, and reduction in shrink. The changes will require adoption of GS1 standards, acquisition or update of hardware, definition of new processes and practices, and development or modification of application software.

Unleash the Power of New Technologies and Standards provides a high-level view of the new technologies and how they can benefit the bottom line. It also provides an implementation plan with sunrise dates for use of these new capabilities.