GS1 standards are the global common language for traceability solutions. GS1 standards are used globally by more than one million companies.

GS1 provides the global framework and local implementation services in 115 countries to ensure that traceability systems are interoperable and scalable, where trading partners can easily collaborate and share information across the entire chain.


GS1 Traceability


GS1-enabled traceability solutions provide the best path to interoperability, protect companies' investments and scale up. Greater levels of digitalisation, speed and data accuracy become possible. Each trading partner in the chain becomes free to choose the solution on the market that best meets its specific needs.


Traceability scheme

GS1 Offer

GS1 provides the global and common language for traceability solutions and the ecosystem for its implementation. GS1 makes the industry vision operational and scalable through collaborations and community development, registries about products and places, capacity building and local implementation services in 115 countries.


Collaboration is an effective and efficient way to engage industries in developing and evolving global standards. Collaboration at a global scale ensures that standards that support traceability work for everyone, and not simply a select few in any one region or sector.




End Users

GS1 operates in 115 countries and collaborates with industry end users of all types and sizes:

  • Retailers across all industries
  • Fresh Foods, Foodservice and Consumer Packaged Goods Companies
  • Healthcare Manufacturers, Distributors, and Providers
  • Apparel and General Merchandise Companies
  • Transport and Logistics Companies
  • Construction and Rail companies

Collaboration in Traceability


Solution Providers

Solution providers offer software and hardware solutions to accomplish traceability. GS1 collaborates with companies who design, develop and deploy traceability solutions with intent to enable effective adoption of standards resulting in greater interoperability across trading partners.


Other Stakeholders

GS1 maintains strong partnerships and collaborations with academic institutions, NGOs and industry associations. GS1 is neutral, technology agnostic and not-for-profit, which also enables collaborations with other industry organisations, such as ISO, CGF, and governments and regulatory bodies.


GS1 Member Organisations Collaborations with Industry

GS1 works directly with you and your suppliers, trading partners and customers to support traceability implementation and enhancements through our broad Member Organisation network. Our Member Organisations operate from 114 countries around the globe and interact directly with solution providers and users to educate on standards and support implementations.

GS1 Traceability Standards

GS1 Global Traceability Standard (GTS2)

GTS2 introduces two key concepts for interoperable traceability : 1) Critical Tracking Events (CTEs), these are the actual events, such as receiving, packing, shipping, transporting, that occur to the traceable object during its lifecycle, and 2) Key Data Elements (KDEs), these are the elements of data that describe the actual instances of the CTEs.


Global Trade Item Number® (GTIN) and Global Location Number (GLN)

GS1 identification standards uniquely identify the objects that are moving throughout supply chains and the locations to which and from which they travel. Identification keys enable the connection of physical and information flows within a trading partner’s processes as well as across different trading partners’ processes.


GS1 Traceability Standards

Barcodes and EPC-enabled RFID tags

Barcodes and EPC/RFID, data capture standards, along with data sharing standards the Global Data Synchronisation Network® and EPCIS (Electronic Product Code Information Services) enable automated processing and sharing of information between and across trading partners. EPCIS is a critical component for traceability systems. EPCIS enables trading partners to share information about the physical movement and status of products across supply chains.

Veronique Discours-Buhot

Director of GFSI:

"There are already a lot of systems in place. What we need is not to replace those systems by only one. We need to make them speak together. We need to build an interconnection between them and to build a common language in order to make them work all together. It is definitely a role for GS1!"

Anita Scholte op Reimer

Vice President Quality, Food Safety and Sustainability, AH/Ahold Delhaize:

"The consumer is asking for more and more transparency and I think this is where in the end the solution will go to and where GS1 will play a crucial role."

Anthony Huggett

Vice President, Head of Quality Management, Nestle, Switzerland:

“Our vision is to have complete visibility across the whole value chain, the value network in real time. We must also make it open to be able to use many different systems. There is a key word: interoperability.”

Traceability in Industry Sectors

Traceability in Action

Technologies for Traceability