Australia’s National Traceability Accord announced

MEDIA RELEASE 09.11.2021

A consortium of senior executives and representatives from Australian government, industry, associations and agencies has announced a set of six agreed principles for encouraging a co-ordinated and harmonised approach toward sustainable end-to-end supply chain traceability and trade modernisation. 

Titled as the National Traceability Accord (NTA), the document represents open non-competitive collaboration on cross-sector supply chain traceability. The adoption of a whole-of-economy model and a national ‘traceability culture’ aims to heighten trust and interoperability between non-traditional allies, with the flow-on effect of improved market access, product safety and strengthening of global competitiveness for Australian trade.  

Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) Deputy Secretary David Hazlehurst commented, “The National Traceability Accord is a welcome industry initiative aligned with the DAWE-led National Traceability Framework. We look forward to exploring how it can complement existing Government policies and priorities to strengthen supply chains and build resilience.” 

National GS1 Traceability Advisory Group Co-Chair and Woolworths Group Head of Business Solutions for Product Traceability, Ram Akella, was instrumental in the realisation of the Accord principles. 

“With numerous businesses across industry sectors working to implement full product traceability, it is vital to establish a common set of principles to share and use data. The National Traceability Accord is a shared vision that creates a collaborative and transparent framework for the modernisation of trade and traceability. As a critical next step, the NTA will act as a joint industry-government voice to promote enhanced ways of working and informed policymaking on traceability.”

GS1 Australia Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Maria Palazzolo says, “The accord is about building industry wide capability for the greater good. When all parties come together to share insights and learnings, they create whole-of-industry improvements that benefit all stakeholders.”

A recent report by the World Economic Forum titled ‘Visibility and Traceability The Twin Engines of Sustainable Supply Chains’, demonstrates the need for companies to collaborate:

“Supply chain executives should look to engage and collaborate beyond their own four walls. By identifying organisations within their sector – as well as across sectors – that are wrestling with the same issues and actively trying to solve them, executives can begin to solve challenges that would have been impossible to take on alone. Companies that take the lead in collaboration today will have the advantage. Those that sit on the sidelines will have to be content with whatever the industry ultimately adopts. Those that seize the opportunity now, however, will set the standards, both within their industry and across sectors.”

Ms Palazzolo continues, “A difficult topic is around transparency and data sharing. We must ensure that organisations share information with the right levels of privacy and agreements in place. Agreements to be able to do something quickly when there is an incident, particularly those that impact safety and making sure that we do traceability with purpose.” 

Key players in traceability are cold chain and logistics providers. Australian Food Cold Chain Council (AFCCC) Chairman Mark Mitchell states, “The key to achieving coordinated traceability is the implementation of all technologies as a system between competing stakeholders. We need to focus on this via initiatives by government and peak associations and start gluing the people and stakeholders together. This is the primary goal, not developing more technology.” 

Signatories of the Australian National Traceability Accord share the common goals of enhancing traceability for safe, responsible production and consumption, more effectively meeting regulations, increasing efficiencies and support circular economy opportunities.

The Accord is facilitated through the National GS1 Traceability Advisory Group. The only forum in Australia where over 100 senior executives and government representatives can openly discuss traceability from a whole of economy perspective. 

NTA support is open to all companies across Australia, with many associations, retailers and brands already represented as signatories. To view the National Traceability Accord and provide your support visit gs1au.org/traceability/accord