Seafood traceability architecture grant

26 May 2015
The GFTC has received a $1.3 million grant to support efforts to design a common technology architecture for seafood traceability. Credit: Lucarelli/CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The GFTC has received a $1.3 million grant to support efforts to design a common technology architecture for seafood traceability. Credit: Lucarelli/CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Global Food Traceability Center (GFTC) has received a $1.3 million grant to support efforts to design a common technology architecture for seafood traceability and related communications, education, and training efforts.

The grant is from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

“This grant will spark new GFTC research to create a new technology architecture – a blueprint – so that individual organisations can seamlessly share data from multiple sources throughout the international food system,” said William Fisher, Executive Director GFTC and IFT Vice President of Science and Policy Initiatives.

“There is at present no mechanism in place to develop what our food industry stakeholders tell us is an important missing piece for effective food traceability. The grant will also help us to communicate the value of this blueprint to all stakeholders.”

With the support of the Moore Foundation in 2014, the Global Food Traceability Center (GFTC) completed related grant work involving a research and technology development project that encompassed nine global value chains and 48 food companies in the seafood industry. The project culminated in a recommendation to design a common technology architecture as the foundation for building interoperable, harmonised seafood traceability. 

This Moore Foundation grant will expand on GFTC past efforts by focusing on three primary goals:

  • Design a common technology architecture that can be shared with global seafood stakeholders and used as the blueprint to develop a comprehensive strategy and plan for global seafood traceability
  • Increase the awareness and understanding of industry and other seafood stakeholders about the importance and value of a common technology architecture and interoperable food traceability
  • Support and enhance the traceability financial calculation tool developed in 2014

“This support will help maintain the momentum we started last year and focus resources on designing a blueprint that can be used for traceability in the seafood industry and also be applied to produce, meat, dairy, bakery, and processed food industries,” said Mr Fisher.

“We are excited to support IFT’s work to develop traceability and data-sharing technology for the seafood sector,” said Meredith Lopuch, program officer at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. “Enabling companies in the seafood value chain to share information and trace products from the source is a key component to eliminating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and to improving seafood sustainability.”