Strengthening Agri-Food Product Barcode-based Traceability In The GMS Region Stakeholders Consultation


On 18th January 2018, the national consultation meeting was held with the aim of identifying a typical value chain, identifying the need and desirability of implementing GS1 traceability system, identifying the demand for facilities, capacity and investment items to participate in the pilot project of applying GS1 numbering and bar coding in Food traceability funded by ADB.

Attending the meeting there were Mr. Tran Van Vinh – General Director of STAMEQ, GS1 Vietnam CEO and many delegates from food supply chains and solution providers. At the conference, representatives from GS1 International and GS1 Vietnam clarified governmental and social requirements for traceability, transposed and analyzed the benefits, requirements and costs required for one value chain to invest for effectively applying GS1 standards into traceability.

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Mr. Tran Van Vinh Director General of STAMEQ, CEO GS1 Viet Nam

Speaking at the meeting, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Dam, Head of Multilateral Cooperation Department – International Cooperation Department (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), said:

“The GMS cooperation including six countries of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, China, Thailand and Vietnam was formed since 1992 starting from ADB’s inception. In order to guide the activities of the GMS, The Strategic Framework for Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS SF) in the 2012-2022 period covers six areas: Transport and Trade; Travel; Energy; Agriculture; Environment, Human Resource Development.


Mr.Patrik Jonasson Director Public Policy Asia-Pacific, GS1 Global Office

Agricultural cooperation is implemented on the basis of the GMS Cooperation Strategic Framework for Agriculture and the Key Agricultural Support Program (CASP), in the 2011-2020 period focusing on the main issues, most common to all countries as follows:

  1. Food safety and modernization of trade.
  2. Environmentally friendly agriculture.
  3. Biomass and biomass energy management.

In the project activities, many technical assistance activities to promote food safety have been proposed and implemented in the program, including the development of clean vegetable cultivation models, organic vegetable cultivation, rice cultivation, bio-charcoal development and application, piloting using IT for chicken traceability, sustainable dairy farming model, etc.

Also in the program, in the development strategy for Secure and Environmental Friendly Farming Value Chains (SEAP Strategy) which was approved by the GMS Minister of Agriculture in Siem Reap in September 2017, the issue of improving food safety associated with sustainable development of agro-food value chains and agriculture continues to be emphasized and proposed for supporting the implementation in 2018-2012 period.

In this context, in order to launch the implementation of the SEAP strategy, ADB TA-8163 will in the short term assist the countries in the pilot sub-region to improve the capacity of food security, an important element in ensuring food safety.

Based on the cooperation agreements between ADB and GS1 GO in the Agriculture Ministerial Meeting AMM2 in September 2017, ADB has proposed the piloting of food traceability by using GS1 numbering and bar coding for one secure and environmental friendly farming value chain in each GMS country.

The meeting attracted comments from enterprises on the application of GS1 article numbering and bar coding, real difficulties and obstacles from the perspective of enterprises and stakeholders in the chain.

Because of the limited budget, ADB will choose to support only one value chain (leading by one successful enterprise) to implement the GS1 traceability system. Following this meeting, ADB will be suggested one value chain for selection and for providing one training program on how to use and to operate the GS1 traceability system and then to do one pilot in 3 months, from April to June 2018 with the maximum financial aid is 15.000 USD.

The success of the program is the premise for Vietnam to propose ADB to continue supporting financial aids and providing advance training for this activity./.