WHO WE ARE AND WHAT DRIVES US
As a neutral, cloud-based solution for batch-specific product traceability, fTRACE helps drive greater efficiency and consumer confidence along the entire supply chain. Based on a standardised, decentralised approach, this full-service tool enables companies to use shared traceability data – to the benefit of all parties involved in the supply chain. So far, fTRACE has already become established as a comprehensive traceability solution for the fish and meat processing industries. However, fTRACE is an equally applicable tool in the fruit and vegetable sector or convenience segment.
fTRACE – facts and figures
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Standards, technology, customer service and an active community – these are the four pillars that have enabled fTRACE to provide an efficient tool for transmitting and retrieving cross-company data along the entire value chain. We have made it our mission to improve the efficiency and transparency of all stages of the supply chain. Technology, standards and customer service may be provided by many other players in the market. However, coordination across the community is essential if the entire supply chain is to work together harmoniously. In this respect, the combination of all four pillars is a genuine USP for fTRACE.
fTRACE relies on state-of-the-art technology to provide its traceability data solution. fTRACE uses scalable cloud technology, Elasticsearch and graph databases to cope with the large volumes of data and to deliver the level of performance required by supply networks.
A range of different IT systems need to communicate with one another as traceability data is transmitted along the supply chain. This requires interoperability, which cannot be achieved without uniform standards. fTRACE relies on the global standard EPCIS and the unique global identifiers from GS1 to enable efficient cross-company traceability on an international scale.
fTRACE has a large set-up team to provide suppliers with support in connecting the system. Depending on the technical level of maturity of a company, data can either be entered manually using a web service or transmitted via an M2M interface integrated with the company’s own ERP system. A team of technology experts will also provide support with the connection to the M2M interface. And even when fTRACE is in place, our team will continue to be at your disposal for assistance.
In practice, efficient traceability can only be achieved if the companies involved are willing to cooperate with one another and agree on a common language. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of GS1 Germany, fTRACE has access to the largest global corporate network – an asset that it exploits to bring members of global supply chains together. Furthermore, fTRACE has established an advisory board that enables major players from industry and retail to discuss key traceability topics. (read more)
We improve efficiency and build confidence along the entire supply chain by standardising individual industries and enabling companies to share origin data and other transparency information with one another.
We promote the use of globally applicable GS1 standards, which are the critical build-ing blocks for achieving efficient, error-free digitalisation and interoperability.
Using global GS1 standards as a base, we digitalise all key traceability-related events within the supply chain and ensure the usability of this data.
Supply chains are made up of a large number of stages. We bring all members of the chain together and create a uniform language to express traceability.
GS1 Germany is primarily known for the barcode. In association with industry and retail, GS1 Germany develops solutions that enable retailers to always ensure availability of products and to tailor their product mix to reflect the demand of their customers. GS1 Germany’s standards and processes make it easier to trace specific batch-related data using fTRACE. As a wholly owned subsidiary of GS1 Germany, we position ourselves as a neutral, trustworthy partner and intermediary between industry and retail. We bring companies from the food industry together with the aim of levering the potential of traceability and supply chain transparency for the benefits of both parties.
fTRACE – the path towards a neutral B2B2C solution
Originally developed by the Tönnies group of companies, fTRACE was initially used exclusively for tracking meat and ham products. Back then, the tool had clearly been designed with consumer communication in mind. In 2012, GS1 Germany GmbH bought fTRACE with the aim of using the platform to create a neutral traceability solution that was available to all companies within the sector. To this end, fTRACE was developed from a pure B2C tool to a B2B2C solution, which has resulted in a tool today that offers a comprehensive approach to traceability.
A customised solution for the fish sector
In 2012, fTRACE and GS1 Germany brought together a number of key players – fishing companies, processing firms, retailers, NGOs and authorities – and launched a pilot project whose goal was to develop a shared solution for the fishing industry. Meanwhile, more than 100 companies from the fishing industry have signed up for fTRACE with the aim of improving the efficiency of internal processes, meeting legal requirements or making origin and processing-related data transparent for the end consumer.
A subsidiary of GS1 Germany
The traceability solution fTRACE was marketed by GS1 Germany between 2012 and 2016. In 2016, fTRACE became a wholly-owned subsidiary, fTRACE GmbH. At this point in time, the need to manage traceability in today's global procurement markets was growing out of all proportion. As an agile, specialist company that is quick to react to international demand and customer expectations, fTRACE GmbH is responding to this need by focusing all efforts on the implementation of a platform that enables product traceability.
fTRACE on service counters
In 2017, fTRACE introduced an integrated traceability solution for service counters. Today, the solution is primarily used by the meat segment; however, fTRACE plans to roll out to other product lines such as fish, delicatessen products and cheese in the near future. First and foremost, the fTRACE solution for service counters enables the digitalisation of the movement of goods as well as the paper-free documentation of all fresh produce sold over the counter. A legal review of the tool has confirmed that it complies with all requirements of current food laws.
GS1 Germany is the second largest member organisation of the Global Standards One network, which is represented by national offices in 112 different countries. As a wholly owned subsidiary of GS1 Germany, fTRACE has access to this global network. fTRACE is working closely with various member organisations, such as GS1 Spain, Ireland, Croatia, Austria and Hong Kong. As a global traceability solution based on GS1 standards, fTRACE has the potential of being implemented at an international level.
Multi-ingredient products and emerging sectors
To lever the opportunities of standardised traceability in other product lines, various companies from industry and retail teamed up with fTRACE in 2015 and began carrying out projects in the field of multi-ingredient products. Today, raw materials such as cereals, rice, sugar and cocoa can all be tracked using fTRACE. In 2016, a number of different products from the cereals segment became the first multi-ingredient items that end consumers could scan in store to access information about product origin and processing.