The Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (also referred to as the Dialogue) is an international, business-to-business platform established to advance a unified framework for interoperable seafood traceability practices. The Dialogue brings together a broad spectrum of seafood industry stakeholders from across different parts of the supply chain, as well as relevant civil society experts from diverse regions.
The Dialogue is catalysing the development of interoperable practices that will:
- Improve the reliability of seafood information
- Reduce the cost of seafood traceability
- Contribute to supply chain risk reduction
- Contribute to securing the long-term social and environmental sustainability of the sector.
The Dialogue is organized around a structure and an agenda stemming from a dozen preparatory workshops in Asia, Europe, and North America. With three technical working groups, the pre-competitive Dialogue aims to produce an aligned global framework for seafood traceability based on four pillars:
- Internationally agreed key data elements (KDEs) to be routinely associated with seafood products;
- Technical specifications for interoperable traceability systems, along with standard legal and business formats facilitating business-to-business information exchange;
- Internationally agreed benchmarks for verifying data validity; and
- Harmonisation of business-smart national regulations to help reduce compliance burdens.
These four pillars are similar to those that have helped create interoperable business-to-business traceability and information systems within other globalised industries, including banking, telecommunications, and pharmaceuticals.
A number of market factors have increased the need for both standardising business practices and harmonising regulations to promote interoperable traceability within the seafood sector. These include:
- Growing consumer and regulatory demands for more information about the origins of seafood products;
- Rising concerns about the marketing of seafood which is sourced from illegal, unsustainable, or socially irresponsible practices (including slavery at sea); and
- Increased business interest in improving transparency within seafood supply chains.