Working Together for Seafood Traceability
September 8, 2020
Sea Pact and the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (GDST) are today announcing a joint work program in support of efficient, verifiable, and interoperable seafood traceability. The new work program represents an important step forward for the seafood industry towards ensuring that all seafood products bought and sold around the world are traceable to legal and responsible production practices.
This Sea Pact - GDST collaboration will focus on implementation of the recently released GDST 1.0 Standards and Guidelines for Interoperable Seafood Traceability, the first-ever global standards designed to make seafood traceability systems interoperable and verifiable worldwide. Sea Pact is proud to announce that as of this date, all ten of its member companies have formally adopted the GDST standards and have declared their intention to implement them. Sea Pact members are further committed to doing their part, including bringing forward their collective work on key data reporting in an effort to promote more effective supply chain data transfer and help drive efficient and reliable industry traceability. Through their new work program, Sea Pact and GDST will coordinate their efforts to improve seafood traceability, increase the availability of information needed from the seafood supply base, and harmonize data reporting. As part of this program, the GDST secretariat will work with Sea Pact member companies to provide technical support for phased, business-smart implementation of the GDST standards. Sea Pact companies will use their collective voice to encourage industry-wide adoption of the GDST standards, and will emphasize the collection of priority “key data elements” as an early implementation step in concert with the rest of the seafood industry over the years ahead.
Sea Pact and GDST jointly recognize that effective seafood traceability is fundamental to the future of a legal, sustainable, and responsible seafood industry. But achieving interoperable and verifiable traceability on a worldwide basis cannot be done without cooperation and standardization across global supply chains. As leading companies from the middle of the supply chain, Sea Pact members have wide industry experience with data reporting challenges through a complex diversity of customer requirements as well as a dependence on upstream producers to provide relevant and verifiable information. Sea Pact recognizes the efficiency and reliability that would come with industry-wide adherence to the GDST standards, and GDST is committed to supporting Sea Pact in their industry leadership on the vitally important issue of seafood traceability.
Sea Pact is a pre-competitive collaboration of leading North American seafood companies dedicated to driving stewardship and continuous improvement of social, economic, and environmental responsibility throughout the global seafood supply chain. Sea Pact’s vision is for a vibrant and resilient industry in which all seafood is produced, traded, and consumed responsibly. Sea Pact’s member companies are: *Euclid Fish Company, Fortune Fish and Gourmet, Inland Seafood, Ipswich Shellfish Group, J.J. McDonnell, North Atlantic, *Santa Monica Seafood, *Seacore Seafood, Seattle Fish Company, and *Stavis Seafoods. Taken together, Sea Pact companies represent the fourth largest seafood company in North America, and the 15th largest in the world. Four of Sea Pact’s ten member companies (with asterisks, above) also participated in the multi-year GDST drafting process.
The GDST is a major global seafood industry forum convened in 2017 to draft the first-ever, industry-led global standards for interoperable and verifiable seafood traceability. After three years of consensus-based process among more than five-dozen seafood industry companies, the GDST 1.0 standards were formally released in March of this year.
The GDST Standards are designed to allow thousands of companies across the global seafood industry share traceability information seamlessly and reliably. The standards focus on an agreed set of “key data elements” that define the baseline information to be shared through traceability systems, along with detailed technical standards for how digital traceability information should be capture, formatted, and transmitted. Mid-supply chain companies face especially complex challenges as they must collect information from many diverse suppliers and then meet multiple and often diverging information demands originating with consumers, NGOs, and regulations. An important goal shared by Sea Pact and GDST is to help make traceability and data reporting more reliable and efficient.
For more information about Sea Pact and the GDST, please visit their websites: