GDST Standards Implementation Roadmap & Toolkit

GDST Implementation Roadmap — A “Business-smart” Approach

Adoption and implementation of the GDST standards is an excellent way for companies to make smart business decisions while showing public leadership for the future of the seafood industry. For some companies, the decision to adopt and implement the GDST standards is clear and straightforward—which is why dozens of companies have already publicly endorsed the GDST standards and started down the road to implementation. But for other companies, particularly those who did not participate actively in the GDST process so far, it may require some additional thinking and planning. For those needing additional support, we’ve developed a document that presents a “roadmap” that includes a set of tools and recommended methodology to help companies evaluate the benefits and challenges of implementing the GDST standards, and to develop company-specific plans for business-smart, phased implementation both internally and with supply chain partners.

The Roadmap Process — A Basic Schematic

The following diagram illustrates some of the key steps in the GDST implementation “roadmap” process. One key focus is to help each company collect and analyze the information needed to understand their own specific situation for GDST implementation. The process is also designed to help companies think through the business decisions needed to draft an implementation plan and initiate execution.


To access the complete roadmap document, please click here. 


Implementation Toolkit & Timeline

  • Rapid Initial Assessment (RIA) (Month 1) – The RIA is a survey tool available from the GDST Secretariat. Completing the RIA is the first step to understanding your company’s readiness for implementation of the GDST standards. It helps you assess your company’s current traceability technology and practices, and (in a preliminary way) those of your supply chain partners. A designated person on your staff completes the survey in consultation with other appropriate staff, using existing internal knowledge within your company.
  • Supplier Assessment Survey (SAS) (Months 2-4) – The SAS tool helps determine the readiness of your suppliers to capture the required GDST Key Data Elements (KDEs) and to transmit the data to you in GDST-adherent digital formats. Like the RIA, the SAS is a survey instrument, but this time it is filled out by your suppliers themselves—you distribute it to them and you receive the responses (with or without assistance from the GDST Secretariat, per your choice). The SAS gives your company a detailed look at traceability practices within your supply chains and also helps educate your suppliers about the GDST standards. 
  • IT Conversion Mapping (Months 1-5) – The GDST Secretariat has also developed an online tool to assist company IT experts (or third-party IT service providers) in concert with other pertinent staff (e.g. supply chain or procurement managers) to understand the technical dimensions of adherence to the GDST standards to enable interoperability between supply chain partners. The tool, which is best used in conjunction with the RIA and the SAS, gives a clear picture of how the GDST standards apply to your company’s supply chain contingencies and gives technical outputs which can guide mapping attributes from internal data systems. The IT Conversion Mapping tool produces a process flow diagram that gives additional insights into current data collection practices within your company and/or your supply chains. Additionally, the tool produces a sample XML file for your IT team or solution provider to use as a basis for its part of the roadmap to IT implementation.

For access to these tools and more information about the GDST implementation roadmap, please reach out to the GDST Secretariat at

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