OriginTrail Joins the GS1 Global EPCIS & CBV 2.0 Working Group to Help Shape the Global Language of Business

Jul 20, 2020 · 4 min read

Since the inception of the OriginTrail Protocol in 2017, GS1 standards have assumed a central role in its design to deliver a profoundly new way of building transparency in global supply chains. Built on blockchain technology, OriginTrail provides a necessary foundation to build new value. The key elements of this foundation are enhanced trust, increased supply chain efficiencies, automated compliance, and enhanced quality assurance processes. Now, the Trace Labs team — the core developers of OriginTrail — is joining the GS1 Global organization and its industry stakeholders in the EPCIS & Core Business Vocabulary (CBV) 2.0 Mission-Specific Working Group to help advance critical data standards required for interoperability between permissioned and public systems alike.

Trace Labs has been one of the pioneers in applying the GS1 EPCIS standard for product visibility. This standard helps to answer the questions “What?” “When?” “Where?” and “Why?” to meet consumer and regulatory demands for accurate and detailed product information. Utilizing the GS1 EPCIS standard, we delivered interoperable data exchange amongst disparate applications. By using the OriginTrail Decentralized Network, we protect data, ensuring the highest levels of trust enabled by a public blockchain.

Our contribution to the GS1 position paper shows the importance of global standards for maintaining the global language of business and facilitating interoperability for blockchain-enabled solutions. The report titled “Bridging Blockchains: Interoperability is essential to the future of data sharing” describes the interplay between blockchain technology, the rise of industry ecosystems, and challenges in bringing the industry together to begin the dialogue around governance, interoperability, and future solutions.

“Implementing blockchain technology in an inter-organisational environment with legacy systems needs to be based on standards. GS1 standards are the best example of this needed common, global business language for collaboration. At OriginTrail, we exploit the relational nature of data beyond the “one step back, one step forward” approach to achieve visibility across the supply chain. GS1 standards help us share relevant and accurate data while the blockchain technology provides accountability and additional integrity,” Žiga Drev, co-founder of OriginTrail, pointed out.

During the panel discussion on the blockchain and interoperability at the plenary session of the GS1 Global Forum in 2019 moderated by Bob Carpenter, CEO of GS1 USA, Žiga Drev highlighted how GS1 standards were instrumental to OriginTrail’s product since the beginning and how common standards are important for the interoperability layer that OriginTrail is building.

Several other distinguished global experts and leaders were invited to share their views for the position paper on how to bridge blockchains and deliver the necessary interoperability. One contribution, however, is exceptionally relevant to fully understand the importance of GS1 standards for improving the way businesses operate in modern supply chains to achieve greater consumer safety.

Frank Yiannas, then Vice President of Food Safety at Walmart, now Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response of the US FDA, shared similar views, saying: “At Walmart, we believe the one-step-up and one-step-back model of food traceability is outdated for the 21st century. That’s why we launched the Walmart Food Traceability Initiative. Leveraging blockchain as the enabling technology and GS1 standards as the universal language, we believe we can create a more digital and transparent food system that will benefit people and the planet.”

The GS1 global standards were also given a prominent spot in the FDA’s recent New Era for Smarter Food Safety Blueprint, pointing towards its foundational value for interoperability between disparate legacy IT systems to build resilient, trustworthy, and safer food supply chains.

OriginTrail — Connecting Supply Chain Data the Google Way, Using GS1 Standards

GS1 EPCIS & Core Business Vocabulary (CBV) 2.0 Working Group

The Trace Labs team is excited to take part in the prototyping phase, testing the current stage of the EPCIS & CBV 2.0 standards and actively contributing to future iterations. As both standards get ratified, we expect them to quickly show their potential serving as the common business language for the upcoming regional, national, and international initiatives, such as the recently launched blueprint for the FDA’s New Era of Smarter Food Safety. It is also intended that both standards get supported by the OriginTrail Decentralized Network, opening doors to new possibilities to grow the OriginTrail decentralized knowledge graph.

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