Traceability Interview with Maria Palazzolo, CEO

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Q1. How does traceability fit with GS1 Australia’s strategy?

Traceability is foundational to GS1 Australia’s business plan and strategy and will take a more strategic role in the next 3-year business plan.
Traceability supports all the work we do across all industry sectors we are engaged in, both established and emerging:

  • In Agriculture, traceability is our key message for engaging governments (state and federal), associations and growers. GS1 standards are increasingly powering agriculture traceability projects and governments are getting more serious about data standards and interoperability than they were before. We are seeing membership growth because of this work; as well as several advisory services (consulting) projects emerging as a result. GLNs and our GLN registry are likely to be adopted nationally under a regulatory framework as a national solution to support biosecurity and traceability.

  • In Retail, not only is there an intersection with our work in agriculture, but also in the context of 2D barcodes. A critical benefit of 2D barcodes is their potential to improve traceability processes not only at POS but across the supply chain. We have already completed two traceability projects with Woolworths who are leading 2D adoption in Australia for cherries and potatoes and are now looking at other commodities to work on.

  • In Transport and Logistics, the message of traceability is linked to efficiencies in freight management across all sectors and we have seen our standards provide the foundation for the government’s national freight and supply chain strategy.

  • In Healthcare, we are working with the government on a consultation paper around medicines traceability, and supporting the development of UDI regulation in Australia which again is tightly coupled with traceability.

  • In Rail, we support the Australasian Railway Association project i-Trace, which is to improve the traceability of components in the rail industry.

  • In Construction, the ability to identify and track building products to ensure compliance is the key driver for our work.

“We expect that traceability will also be a key driver for many other activities in the context of conformity and certification, cross-border trade, and importantly sustainability which is becoming increasingly critical in our work with industry and our business plan.” - Maria Palazzolo

Q2. What does your MO offer in terms of traceability to the industry?

GS1 Australia offers:

  • Standards and implementation guideline development

  • Education and training• Advisory services and implementation advice

  • Collaboration via the National GS1 Traceability Advisory Group (100+ members) and via ongoing open events

  • Traceability solutions via alliance partners/solution providers through our special interest group (from IBM/KPMG to small start-up providers)

  • Solution certification services

We are about to embark on a project where we will be deploying a GS1 Resolver and GS1 Digital Link to better manage and share product certification and conformity data with government funding over the next six months. We have specifically decided to NOT offer any type of traceability platform directly and instead focused on building an ecosystem of solution providers that support GS1 standards for interoperability.

“Today full traceability across the supply chain is no longer a ‘nice to have’. It’s actually a must-have.” - Maria Palazzolo

Q3. GS1 Australia is one of the leading MOs in the Trace & Train programme. This is a significant commitment from your staff, John Szabo and Earl Lappen. Can you share why you have such involvement or explain the benefits that you expect?

There are several benefits to GS1 Australia making such a strong contribution to this global programme:

  • Contributing to the development of this global programme helps the federation as a whole and lifts the capacity of all MOs in this area – any successes that we can have globally can have a direct impact on Australia as references to industry and government agencies.

  • Participation in this global programme also contributes to the professional development of GS1 Australia staff by learning from others in the process of delivering the outcomes of the programme.

  • The outcome of this work will result in more considered and comprehensive material that we can leverage in our local engagement with our members.

Visit GS1 Australia Traceability