The Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability’s (GDST) Frankie Terzoli recently met with members of Iberostar to get the inside scoop on their plans for improving seafood traceability in their hotel supply chains, and how being a GDST member and adopting GDST 1.0 will benefit their traceability work.
As a large European hotel chain and a major voice for reform in the seafood industry, Iberostar was a welcomed addition to the growing list of GDST 1.0 adopters. Through their Wave of Change website, Iberostar has outlined their commitments to seafood traceability and offers tools and resources for other companies looking to do the same. We are excited to have them onboard, and we are looking forward to seeing where our work together takes us!
This blog is part one of a two-part blog series. Stay tuned for part two!
- Where are you focusing improvements in your supply chains in the next year?
We will continue to work with our suppliers in collecting key data elements of all our products by first prioritizing those species we source in higher volume and working with our chefs and the purchasing team to identify products of lesser volume that we could remove from our menus. Our goal is to improve efficiencies in our procurement and eliminate product references that do not support our long-term goal of 100% responsible seafood by 2025. By collecting data, we are also able to work with producers and distributors to support fisheries and farms that are in a path towards improvement, sourcing same species from more responsible sources or working with lesser known species which also meet our commitment.
- How will the GDST help you achieve the goals in those commitments?
We see the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability as a major step to standardize traceability processes and facilitating interoperability across partners in the supply chain. This is one of the reasons we adopted the GDST 1.0 standard. Specifically, GDST provides us with a framework of what data needs to be collected at each step of the supply chain. This way we can better understand what information is needed and how we can engage our suppliers (and their suppliers) to join GDST and help improve traceability within their own supply chain.
- With hotels being one of the largest bulk purchasers of seafood, what are some of the issues you face in your current traceability practices? How does implementation of the GDST standards help resolve these?
The complexity of our supply chain is one of the largest challenges we face. Seafood procurement is not always directly between the producer and the hotel’s distributor. In many cases, our distributors can be four or five times removed from the producers, especially when brokers are involved and other importers and exporters that help aggregate products before sending the shipment to our distributors. By working with GDST, we are hoping we can bring these stakeholders to adopt the standard and work with us in collecting and sharing their key data that can be verified. Being able to invite these companies to participate in GDST would help with the traceability “learning curve” and help them understand what data they should be collecting depending on where they are in the supply chain.
- Can you speak about the benefits of having interoperability in traceability data?
Whether it’s digital or paper-based, all stakeholders in our supply chain are collecting some type of data globally in different countries and many languages. Interoperability allows systems to speak the same language and transfer information, it helps us all be on the same page and achieve the same goal of traceability and transparency. Thanks to the work GDST has done, we now have a standard on what kind of data we are going to be collecting and a process and toolkit for implementation so that we understand the technical dimensions of adherence to the GDST 1.0 standard to enable interoperability between supply chain partners and our hotels.
- How can implementation of the GDST standards benefit other companies in the hotel business?
In the tourism industry, many of the medium and larger enterprises face challenges to standardize data collection across the multiple companies, franchises, and supplier partners within their network. At Iberostar, our hotels are almost exclusively owned or managed. Thus, we saw clear opportunities to work in our group of property owners and owned hotels to standardize data collection within our supplier network. However, for many other tourism groups, this interoperability we hope will be a game changer for better adoption of data collection and traceability practices. Furthermore, many of the distributors in the countries we operate provide products to multiple chains in the region. Having them onboard with data collection and working with other hotels to request this information would help all of us motivate even more of the supply chain to engage in traceability.
For more information about Iberostar and Wave of Change, please visit: waveofchange.com
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