In line with the ASC’s continuous improvement commitment, the Programme Assurance team has embarked upon a project aimed at introducing the use of technology to improve the digital traceability of ASC certified products.

The project involves using and/or developing software to capture and convey key data elements (KDEs) from certified farm origin throughout the supply chain to end consumers. The latest KDE list can be downloaded here.  The list of elements will evolve.  Several companies already report in this format.

Besides providing greater verifiable information and meeting industry demands and expectations, it will enhance supply chain transparency and risk mitigation. To achieve this, ASC is working closely with supply chain company partners, stakeholders and global initiatives with aligned objectives.

The KDE project consists of two overarching and complementary parts: A) the ASC supply chain KDE project, and B) the ASC farm focused KDE project.

A) ASC Key Data Element Supply Chain Project
The ASC project is set out on the transfer of data throughout the supply chain: allowing product origin, sustainability and volume data to travel digitally from one company to the next using a unique code. The software provider selected for this work is Global Traceability Solutions (GTS). ASC and MSC are working with the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (GDST) and other large-scale seafood traceability initiatives to ensure that the customisation of GTS software is aligned with shared objectives and outcomes. The project is currently engaging supply chain company partners in a Proof of Concept (PoC) to be implemented in 2019. MSC is currently carrying out a strategic review regarding their participation in the project and ASC’s position is to continue with the project.

B) ASC farm-focused KDE project
The ASC farm-focused KDE project complements and aligns with the ASC supply chain project running in parallel but with a focus on the collection of production, operational and sustainability data at farm-level. The objectives are to utilise a digital traceability system (e.g. farm-oriented app) to collect key farm data at the start of the supply chain and to create unique batch identification codes to allow transmission of key data and volumes through the supply chain. The aim includes ensuring interoperability with the GTS software.

ASC will have confidential access to all data collected (with permission of data owners) to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of product integrity investigations and other programme assurance activities, including monitoring and evaluation. ASC is trialling Xpertsea farm data collection software to conduct pilots with shrimp farm and supply chain company partners in Vietnam and Central America.

The partners that have expressed an interest in collaborating and trialling the different projects are among others, Shore (Morubel), Seafarm-Seafresh, Amanda Seafood, Sainsbury’s and Lidl.  Among others, the participating farms and producers are Omarsa, VinaCleanfood, Taikaseafood.

We are also exploring the use of Verifik8 related to a farm improvement project. Related projects with other IT providers will also be explored.

Ultimately, the combined KDE project will contribute to a higher level of ASC programme assurance based on increased transparency of farm origin and supply chain data, including visibility of certified volumes produced and traded. Whilst the initial focus of the project is on shrimp, this is set to expand to other species. Please feel free to contact the ASC Programme Assurance team for more information and updates. Please go here for more information on the data collected and IT side of the project.

Page updated October 2019

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