Handbook of Australian Meat 7th Edition AusMeatInternational Red Meat Manual

Standards in the Australian Meat Industry

Food Safety in today’s global environment has become a critical priority for the meat industry. Consumers throughout the world now have an expectation that retailers are able to identify, or trace the origin of the food products they sell. This growing pressure from consumers has forced the need for a review of supply chain concepts and methodologies available to provide this evidence of traceability.

The EAN•UCC system is an internationally compatible system for the identification of items, services, logistic units, assets and locations traded worldwide. There are 101 GS1 Member Organisations representing over 1 million companies in 155 nations around the globe.

The EAN•UCC system provides an open standard that meets the needs of all industry sectors, including the Australian meat industry. The primary objective of the EAN•UCC system is to facilitate communication, data collection and exchange of information in the interests of trading partners. The system provides a common language of communication for trade and commerce worldwide.

The EAN•UCC systems consists of:

  1. Standard numbering structures for the identification of goods, services, shipments, assets and locations;
  2. Data carriers to represent the identification numbers in machine readable format; and
  3. Electronic messaging standards to transmit the captured data between trading partners.

Weights, Dates, Carton Numbers, NLIS ID
4 digits, Company or AUS-MEAT

Global Location Numbers

Shipment Identification Numbers

GS1 Australia in conjunction with meat industry representatives including, AUS-MEAT, AQIS, Food Science Australia, Meat & Livestock Australia, and the Australian Meat Industry Council, formed a working group that looked at how the EAN•UCC numbering, bar coding and electronic messaging standards could be implemented into the Australian Meat Industry. The group developed a set of guidelines titled: Australian Meat Industry Guidelines for Numbering and Bar Coding of Non-Retail Trade Items. A copy of the guidelines can be obtained by phoning GS1 Australia on 1300 366 033 or visiting www.gs1au.org

This guideline is intended to apply to the domestic and export sectors of the Australian Meat Industry. It is fully consistent with emerging commercial arrangements for the identification of products through the distribution and wholesale chain, as well as with developments internationally where the EAN•UCC system is also being adopted.

Some examples of EAN•UCC bar codes being used in the Australian meat industry today are shown below.

Figure 1: Carcase ticket with EAN•UCC - 128 bar code

Figure 2: Variable Weight Carton with EAN•UCC - 128 bar code

Figure 3: EAN•UCC Logistics Label Format