The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Global Food Traceability Center (GFTC) yesterday announced the launch of a Seafood Traceability Financial Tool. This tool assists organizations in the seafood industry in understanding the financial impact (costs and benefits) of implementing traceability. Developed with input from seafood business leaders and owners,  this tool is freely accessible online at

"From retailers and food service companies, all the way back to the catch, the entire food industry is becoming more concerned and conscious about traceability and how to help protect the public,” said Brian Sterling, GFTC managing director. “In addition to providing a way to verify the source of products, traceability also offers tangible financial benefits for companies. It’s a proven business tool that can drive new market opportunities, lower costs, and increase margins.”

The tool helps businesses identify the payback from traceability by asking basic questions about the organization such as industry segment, revenue, current traceability level, and their reasons for investing in traceability. The user is then walked through an assessment of how traceability may impact their business, including items such as:

  • New market access and customer growth
  • Lawsuits and liability insurance costs
  • Recall management costs
  • Information management
  • Scrap/waste/shrink costs
  • Quality management

The tool calculates the Net Present Value of investment over the user-selected time horizon and then displays a confidential results page with a forecast of return on investment at the selected level of traceability. This report can be saved and printed, and includes the breakdown of annual benefits selected on the previous pages.

The tool is intended for use by any seafood business, and will be especially helpful for smaller firms that may not have the time or resources available to execute a detailed business case, according to an IFT news release. The tool is intuitively simple to use and can produce results in a matter of minutes; or the user can choose to conduct more detailed analysis.

The IFT launched the GFTC, a science-based, not-for-profit public-private partnership, in September 2013. It brings together key stakeholders in the food system to collaborate on traceability solutions and serves as an authoritative source about food traceability. See for more information on the Global Food Traceability Center.