WASHINGTON, D.C. — As part of its ongoing efforts aimed at improving traceability in the worldwide food system, the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Global Food Traceability Center (GFTC) today announced that it has received a $1.3 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The new grant will support efforts to design a common technology architecture for seafood traceability and related communications, education, and training efforts.

“This grant will spark new GFTC research to create a new technology architecture – a blueprint – so that individual organizations can seamlessly share data from multiple sources throughout the international food system,” said William Fisher, Executive Director GFTC and IFT Vice President of Science and Policy Initiatives.  “There is at present no mechanism in place to develop what our food industry stakeholders tell us is an important missing piece for effective food traceability. The grant will also help us to communicate the value of this blueprint to all stakeholders.” Fisher added that ultimately, this will accelerate an international strategy needed to implement reliable, interoperable global seafood traceability. 

With the support of the Moore Foundation in 2014, the Global Food Traceability Center (GFTC) completed related grant work involving a research and technology development project that encompassed nine global value chains and 48 food companies in the seafood industry. The project culminated in a recommendation to design a common technology architecture – a blueprint – as the foundation for building interoperable, harmonized seafood traceability. The 2014 research also called for action to raise global awareness and understanding about the need for interoperability and a common technology architecture. 

This Moore Foundation grant will expand on GFTC past efforts by focusing on three primary goals: 

  1. Design a common technology architecture that can be shared with global seafood stakeholders and used as the blueprint to develop a comprehensive strategy and plan for global seafood traceability.
  2. Increase the awareness and understanding of industry and other seafood stakeholders about the importance and value of a common technology architecture and interoperable food traceability.
  3. Support and enhance the traceability financial calculation tool developed in 2014.

The total project budget of $1,538,300 also includes some funds carried over from the foundation’s previous grant to IFT. 

“This support will help maintain the momentum we started last year and focus resources on designing a blueprint that can be used for traceability in the seafood industry and also be applied to produce, meat, dairy, bakery, and processed food industries,” said William Fisher. 

“We are excited to support IFT’s work to develop traceability and data-sharing technology for the seafood sector,” said Meredith Lopuch, program officer at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. “Enabling companies in the seafood value chain to share information and trace products from the source is a key component to eliminating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and to improving seafood sustainability.” 

The Global Food Traceability Center is a not-for-profit collaborative, public-private partnership. It brings together key stakeholders from the global food system to collaborate on food traceability and serves as an authoritative and unbiased resource on the science of food traceability. Launched in 2013, the GFTC provides research, education and training, advice, and technology support for companies and public organizations that wish to better trace food products through the supply chain in order to improve food safety, mitigate business risk, access new markets, reduce costs, and lower food waste.

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation believes in bold ideas that create enduring impact in the areas of science, environmental conservation and patient care. Intel co-founder Gordon and his wife Betty established the foundation to create positive change around the world and at home in the San Francisco Bay Area. Environmental conservation efforts promote sustainability, protect critical ecological systems and align conservation needs with human development. Patient care focuses on eliminating preventable harms and unnecessary healthcare costs by meaningfully engaging patients and their families in a supportive, redesigned health care system. Science looks for opportunities to transform–or even create–entire fields by investing in early-stage research, emerging fields and top research scientists. Visit Moore.org or follow @MooreFound.

For more information, please visit the IFT Global Food Traceability Center Website: www.globalfoodtraceability.org or contact William Fisher, IFT Vice President of Science & Policy Initiatives at 202-330-4977, wfisher@ift.org


About IFT 
For more than 70 years, IFT has existed to advance the science of food. Our nonprofit scientific society—more than 17,000 members from more than 100 countries—brings together food scientists, technologists and related professions from academia, government, and industry. For more information, please visit ift.org.

About the Global Food Traceability Center
The GFTC is a public-private partnership program within IFT that was created for the express purpose of being the global resource and authoritative voice on food traceability.  Its mission is to serve all parts of the food system (from farm to fork) by providing applied research, objective advice, and practical expertise about data collaboration and food product traceability for the purposes of business benefit and public good. For more information, please visit globalfoodtraceability.org.

Media contact: 
Mindy Weinstein
Institute of Food Technologists

Read the original press release here.

Related coverage:
Intrafish (paid subscription required)
Inside Philanthropy
Philanthropy News Digest
Meat and Poultry Online


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