Home > Learn More > Self Assessment Tool
The Can-Trace Traceability Self-Assessment Tool is designed to help
determine your company’s current level of capability to trace a
product throughout the supply chain.
Its intent is to provide your company with direction on what
information may be required to collect, keep, share in the case of
an adverse event such as a food recall.
The final assessment reached will be based on the Can-Trace Food
Traceability Data Standard version 2.0 that was developed by
Canadian industry in collaboration with regulatory agencies such as
the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
It is important to note that the results of this tool are not all
encompassing and do not ensure food safety. Furthermore, it is the
responsibility of all participants within the food supply chain to
establish other processes and systems to ensure food quality and
safety measures (such as HACCP certification) are met.
You will be asked questions related to your company’s use of
technology and adherence to existing data standards. This will allow
you to assess your current capabilities to electronically transact
business information with your trading partners.
There are four primary roles or “actors” that have been identified
in the Can-Trace Traceability Self-Assessment Tool:
- Primary producer (grower, farmer, etc.)
- Processor (packer, re-packer, processor, manufacturer)
- Wholesale/distributor (wholesaler, distributor, broker)
- Retail store/foodservice operator
It is recognized that there may be other intermediary actors but you
should select the closest role from the identified actors.
There are four sections contained in this tool. The first section
will ask basic questions related to your business. The second will
address your basic traceability knowledge. The third section covers
the basic elements of traceability in the context of basic business
processes including procurement, receiving, shipping, and the final
section will address best practices.
Based upon your responses to the questions, you will be given a
score that you can use to assess your capabilities and rates your
company against the industry benchmark (which is based on the
Can-Trace and global traceability standards). Each question is
weighted, as certain capabilities are more fundamental to an
effective traceability program.
No information will be captured or retained by GS1 Canada other than
your basic company information included in the first section. No
company information, personal contact information or the responses
will be retained to protect your privacy. This tool is provided
simply for your own use as a diagnostic tool.
- Traceability is the ability to trace the history, application
or location of that which is under consideration. Traceability
has two components: tracking and tracing.
- Tracking: is the capability to follow the path of a specified
unit and/or lot of trade items downstream through the supply
chain as it moves between trading partners.
- Tracing: is the capability to identify the origin of a
particular unit located within the supply chain by reference to
records held upstream in the supply chain.
- Supply Chain: is a set of approaches utilized to efficiently
integrate suppliers and clients (comprised of stores, food
service, retailers, wholesalers, warehouses, distributors,
manufacturers and primary producers) so food and food products
are produced and distributed in the correct quantities, to the
correct locations, and at the right time, in order to minimize
system wide costs while satisfying service level requirements.
- The Three Basic Elements of Traceability:
- Product, Party and Location Identification: Fundamental to
tracking and tracing a product for full chain traceability is
that every food component harvested from farm or sea and through
every stage of its transformation/packaging to a finished
consumer product must be uniquely identified at each stage of
transformation or possession – and that these identifiers be
- Recording of Information: Effective traceability requires
standardizing the information that needs to be recorded through
each step of the food production and distribution chain.
- Linking of Information: To ensure the continuity of the flow
of traceability information, each partner must pass on
information about the identified lot or product group to the
next partner in the production chain, or alternatively, to a
central data base or registry where information can be retrieved
One-Up/One-Down Traceability Model
The current Can-Trace Canadian Food Traceability Data Standard (CFTDS)
version 2.0 supports a one-up-one-down model for traceability and
therefore stipulates that data must be “collected, kept and shared”
by all the participants in the food supply chain to accomplish this.
- “Collect” refers to a participant in the food supply chain
obtaining the relevant data from their trading partner in the food
- “Keep” refers to a participant in the food supply chain
keeping/storing and maintaining the relevant data.
- “Share” refers to a participant in the food supply providing the
relevant data to their trading partner in the food supply chain.
- Collect Data: The data that the participants in the supply chain
are required to obtain from the relevant member of the supply chain.
- Keep Data: The information that each participant in the supply
chain is required to record and maintain in their business records.
- Share Data: The information that each participant in the supply
chain is required to provide to the relevant member of the supply
The CFTDS addresses information flowing from the primary producer
end of the supply chain up to delivery to the back door of the
retail or foodservice operation. The store shelf or end consumer is
beyond the scope of the CFTDS.
Produce Traceability Self-Assessment Tool
Traceability does not relate to food safety directly but the ability
to identify, isolate and recall product(s) in the case of an adverse
event. Most companies will indicate that they have some traceability