Press Release: Announcing The Traceability 101 Toolkit

June 8, 2016 -- There’s a new buzzword in the sustainable seafood movement: traceability. Like “sustainability,” “traceability” can mean different things to different people. To advance progress for greater seafood traceability, a shared understanding of traceability concepts and technology is needed.

To help move the conversation forward, Future of Fish, with the assistance of FishWise, and the Global Food Traceability Center (GFTC) is pleased to announce a brand new resource, the Traceability 101 Toolkit.

End-to-end traceability requires the coordinated effort of NGOs and their industry partners. Such coordination will be far more efficient and effective with common definitions, training tools, and communication resources in hand. After multiple surveys and interviews with conservation organizations, a need surfaced for multiple forms of media, an overview of high-level concepts, and more detailed explanations.

“You can think of the Traceability 101 Toolkit as a crib sheet for understanding traceability and traceability technology in the seafood space. But instead of a “sheet”, there are multiple resources that range from two minute overview videos to a detailed, narrated presentation,” said Future of Fish Director of Research, Marah Hardt.

Featuring a comprehensive and illustrated glossary of traceability terms, PSA-style animations highlighting the need for full-chain traceability, and a detailed slide deck with narrative voiceover, the toolkit is intended for internal NGO staff training needs, external broadcast, and for use with industry partners.

“This toolkit is a significant step towards greater alignment and understanding of seafood traceability,” said Mariah Boyle, Traceability Division Director at FishWise. “NGOs and companies with expertise on the topic can sharpen their traceability lexicon with the glossary and think about new traceability applications by viewing the slide deck. Those new to traceability can view quick PSAs as a 101 on the topic and a one-pager on the five core functions of traceability.”

“This toolkit is a refreshing take on information sharing, showcasing Future of Fish’s strength in multimedia communications on complex topics,” Boyle continued. “We’re excited to be working with them on seafood traceability improvements and look forward to sharing this toolkit with our partners in the work.”

These tools are intended to help NGOs to get on the same page internally, and to use as resources to engage with industry partners. Some tools, like the PSA-style animations, are also intended to educate and engage the broader public.

So why traceability?

Today, there are multiple functions that all fall into the traceability bucket. For a company to effectively root out environmental and social ills such as fraud, illegal fish, and human rights abuse, they will need a combination of multiple traceability functions applied across their entire supply chain. Companies can also use such traceability systems to track their progress against responsible sourcing commitments, such as those recommended by the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solution’s Common Vision for Sustainable Seafood. These tools were created to help simplify the complexity and to encourage greater traceability adoption.

Spend some time perusing the toolkit and the current suite of tools below. Like what you see? Have ideas for improvements?  Send a note to Your thoughts and ideas will help to make this an effective and useful resource for the entire community.

About Future of Fish:
Future of Fish is a non-profit organization that provides research, design, and business strategy services to entrepreneurs, NGOs, foundations, and other stakeholders as they work to improve global seafood sustainability. Future of Fish has identified robust, end-to-end traceability and the growth of “Storied Fish” as key drivers of large-scale change. Our vision is a global seafood industry that supplies traceable, trustworthy, legally caught fish.