Global Tuna Alliance Endorses GDST Standards

The Global Tuna Alliance has announced our endorsement of the GDST Standards and Guidelines for Interoperable Seafood Traceability as an important step towards achieving our mission to support implementation of the Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration.

At the United Nations Ocean Conference in 2017, sixty-six companies, including retailers and other tuna supply chain businesses, signed the World Economic Forum’s Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration with the aim of stopping illegal tuna getting to market, and promoting improvements in environmental sustainability and human rights in tuna fisheries. As the name suggests, traceability – or tracking products from vessel to the final buyer – is a key component of the Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration.

The Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration asks signatories to commit to ensuring “that all tuna products in our supply chains will be fully traceable to the vessel and trip dates, and that this information will be disclosed upon request at the Point of Sale either on the packaging or via an online system.”

To achieve this, what is needed is a globally agreed set of key data elements related to seafood production that meet the needs of processors, traders and retailers across geographies and market subsectors. In addition, the seafood industry needs to adopt shared data communication standards and practices otherwise proprietary traceability systems will potentially remain unable to communicate with each other even if standarized key data elements are in use.

Fortunately, over the last few years an initiative called the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability has worked with supply chain members to achieve global agreement on a basic IT architecture for seafood interoperability in addition to a universal set of basic key data elements.

The Global Tuna Alliance, an inclusive constituency of companies with a major interest in improving the sustainability of the tuna sector, is working to implement the objectives laid out in the Declaration. We are pleased today to announce our endorsement of the GDST Standards and Guidelines for Interoperable Seafood Traceability and will be formally recommending Declaration signatories do the same, as well making a time-bound commitment to implement the GDST standards.

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