After months of working with industry and carrying out pilot projects, 2DBarcodes by GS1 are now live at Woolworths.

The advantages to 2DBarcodes are many. For example, they can help customers by stopping products at the register. If an out-of-date or recalled product is scanned at the point of sale, the information contained in the 2DBarcode can alert the customer and prohibit the product from being purchased.

GS1 Australia CEO Maria Palazzolo

Maria Palazzolo, CEO of GS1 Australia, said: “2DBarcodes can help solve many of today’s retail business problems in the areas of meat, seafood, deli, dairy, bakery, as well as packaged fruit and vegetables because one small barcode can reveal a wealth of information that just can't be squeezed onto a traditional linear barcode.”

With the on-pack symbols hitting the shelves embedded with data, they offer significant business benefits for Woolworths, their suppliers and their customers, including stopping the sale of expired products at the checkout. 

For suppliers and retailers, food products can be recalled by batch lot number. The affected batch lots can be identified more accurately within the supply chain. This means only the affected products need to be removed from warehouses and supermarket shelves. The product recall process currently requires all recalled products to be removed from the supply chain and disposed of, according to GS1 Australia.

The information supplied by 2DBarcodes will also allow retailers to pinpoint the specific batches affected by a recall or withdrawal and trace it back through the production line, making it easier to identify the source of contamination.

2DBarcodes also help increase food freshness and sustainability. The extra data enables improvements to date management, enhancing product rotation to increase food freshness and reduce food waste.

At the forefront of its use are fresh foods with around 30 meat products, extending to several hundred fresh meat lines in the coming months as well as a number of instore deli items including BBQ chickens.

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