Ground Breaking New Approach to Product Recalls Ground Breaking New Approach to Product Recalls
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Ground Breaking New Approach to Product Recalls
Industry launches world-leading technology platform

TORONTO, ON – November 3, 2009 – GS1 Canada, as part of a coalition of leading Canadian industry associations representing over 65,000 manufacturers, distributors and retailers, today launched a national product recall program that will enhance consumer safety and reduce the administrative burden for business.  With the increasing complexities of a global supply chain, this launch could not have come at a more important time.

“Canadian businesses are committed to ensuring the safety of the products they sell to Canadians,” commented Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO of the Retail Council of Canada. “Through collaboration, industry has identified that this recall program is exactly what Canada needs to expedite faster, more accurate and more effective recalls, ultimately enhancing consumer safety.”

Product recalls are the responsibility of the company undertaking them, who works with the CFIA and retailers to execute. This results in significant variation in processes and communication across industry.  Industry leaders agree that a standardized communication protocol between businesses is critical to enable effective execution of product recalls.   “CFIG welcomes the new program as a significant complement to the existing recall notification process,” commented John Scott, President and CEO, Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers.  “It will enhance clarity and speed in pulling products from the shelf, and minimize confusion.  Our members look forward to using this new program because of its substantial benefits to all retailers regardless of size.”

The GS1 Canada Product Recall program neither replaces nor changes the existing CFIA-driven recall system. Designed by industry, for industry, the program will standardize the communication of recall information between Canadian businesses, using a common web-based technology.  “Ensuring the safety of products produced is the number one priority of the manufacturers of food and consumer products,” noted Nancy Croitoru, President and CEO, Food & Consumer Products of Canada.  “When products do require recall, it is imperative for Canadians and for companies that the process is consistent, efficient and immediate.  By joining forces and committing to a single standardized program, participating Canadian businesses will further enhance Canada’s excellent recall system to ensure it is more responsive, more immediate and better serves consumers.”

The Program is founded on a standardized process created by GS1 Canada, the neutral, non-profit supply chain standards organization most well-known for creation and management of the universal product code (bar code), used by millions of businesses worldwide.  This global online platform uses robust HP cloud-computing technology and is based on global GS1 standards. 

"The efficient and effective handling of product recalls is one of our industry's highest priorities,” said Nick Jennery, President and CEO, Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors.  “CCGD is always open and willing to participate in any initiative that enhances and streamlines the recall communication processes between businesses. A truly collaborative effort between manufacturers, retailers and distributors in this initiative demonstrates an industry wide commitment to ensuring that accurate information can be easily shared between all trading partners.” 

The GS1 Canada Product Recall program will launch first in the grocery sector, with a roll out to the general merchandise and pharmacy sectors planned for 2010.  The coalition includes:

  • Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors (CCGD)
  • Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG)
  • Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC)
  • GS1 Canada
  • Retail Council of Canada (RCC)


Media Contacts:

Alison Reed
Temple Scott Associates for GS1 Canada
Tel: 416-360-6183 x 227

Miranda Germani
Temple Scott Associates for GS1 Canada
Tel: 416-360-6183 x 238

About CCGD
The Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors (CCGD) is a not-for-profit organization committed to advancing and promoting the grocery and foodservice distribution industry in Canada, at both the regional and national level. The food distribution industry is Canada’s second largest commercial sector. Member sales represent $71.8 billion in retail and $12 billion in foodservice. Members employ over 428,100 Canadians, and represent over 85% of all grocery (i.e. food, non-good, non-alcoholic beverages) distribution sales in Canada.

About CFIG
The Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG) is a non-profit association founded in 1962. The association's mission is to further the unique interests of Canada's independent and franchised grocers across Canada through progressive partnerships with retailers, their suppliers and the consumer.

About FCPC
Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC) is the largest industry association representing Canadian-operated food, beverage and consumer product companies that make and market national and retailer brands sold through retail and foodservice outlets. We provide leadership and support to our members to advance industry’s growth, leading to the prosperity of our industry and the enrichment of Canadians’ lives. Annually, the industry we represent generates approximately $22 billion in GDP and donates an estimated $33 million in cash donations to charitable causes and over 5 million bags of groceries to food banks in Canada. Our members have a record of embracing world-class regulatory standards and are governed by hundreds of federal and provincial pieces of legislation, as well as thousands of regulations and self-imposed standards.

About GS1 Canada
GS1 Canada is a member of GS1, the world’s leading supply chain standards organization. As a neutral, not-for-profit organization, GS1 Canada enables its more than 10,000 members – trading partners of all sizes from 23 sectors across Canada – to enhance their efficiency and cost effectiveness by adopting electronic supply chain best practices. Learn more at

About RCC
Retail Council of Canada (RCC) has been the Voice of Retail in Canada since 1963. We speak for an industry that touches the daily lives of Canadians in every corner of the country — by providing jobs, career opportunities, and by investing in the communities we serve. RCC is a not-for-profit, industry-funded association representing more than 40,000 store fronts of all retail formats across Canada, including department, specialty, discount, and independent stores, and online merchants. RCC is a strong advocate for retailing in Canada and works with all levels of government and other stakeholders to support employment growth and career opportunities in retail, to promote and sustain retail investments in communities from coast-to-coast, and to enhance consumer choice and industry competitiveness.