Seafood traceability solutions providers Trace Register and Wholechain recently announced that they have achieved interoperability between their two different traceability systems based on Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (GDST) compatibility standards. These collaborative efforts will further help industry meet compliance with the requirements of the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP) and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Food Traceability Final Rule.

Jayson Berryhill, co-founder of Wholechain, explained that interoperability works like email, saying, “You do not ask someone which email provider they use, and you are not forced to maintain multiple email accounts so that you can send an email to each of your friends using different providers. You just send an email, and without knowing it, you see interoperability standards at work. In the seafood industry, that common standard is GDST. GDST enables suppliers to seamlessly send data to their buyers using the GDST-enabled traceability system of their choice.”

Working with GDST and other industry stakeholders, Trace Register and Wholechain collaborated in the development of the standards. The two competitors then implemented an extension of GDST standards using GS1’s EPCIS capture interface to make GDST compatibility more practical between suppliers and buyers. The success of this development led GDST to incorporate the EPCIS capture interface method as an official supplement to their comprehensive standards.

The integration achieved through this collaboration facilitates a seamless two-way exchange of information. Notable examples include Trace Register customers shipping to a Wholechain customer, a major privately held supermarket chain in the U.S. Likewise, Wholechain customers can ship to a Trace Register client, another significant player in the supermarket industry. The seamless, automatic GDST data transmission eliminates the need for manual keying and safeguards against losing critical GDST data points. It also exemplifies the power of collaboration and interoperability in advancing seafood traceability.

Heath England, President of Trace Register, explained that “Interoperability greatly reduces or even eliminates portal fatigue. When systems can seamlessly ‘talk’ to one another, then suppliers, producers, supermarkets, and distributors can each use a system that fits them best while having confidence that they can send and receive data regardless of what system their partners are using.”