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Canadian grocery sector collaboration driving business benefits

Initiative to improve accurate data sharing producing significant results

October 19, 2010, Toronto, ON – Canadian grocery sector representatives confirmed today that a unique collaboration between retailers and suppliers to improve accurate data sharing is driving significant results that will ultimately improve business bottom lines.  Results from the 2010 Grocery Data Integrity Audit reveal that, since the launch of the industry Data Integrity Initiative in 2008, there has been a 30 per cent jump in the level of consistency between product data in supplier systems and that stored in retailer systems.

Conducted by standards body GS1 Canada in collaboration with the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors (CCGD), Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG), and Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC), the Grocery Data Integrity Audit compares product data loaded by suppliers to ECCnet Registry with the information that retailers have on file about these same products.  ECCnet Registry is a national database of standardized product information managed by GS1 Canada, which is used by the majority of the Canadian grocery sector for sharing product data electronically.  Results of the first Audit, conducted in 2008, revealed discrepancies in over 50 per cent of data that should have been identical.  Industry leaders have since been collaborating to integrate global GS1 standards and best practices into their data management processes.  Sector spokespeople confirmed today that these efforts are proving effective in improving the accuracy of information exchanged through ECCnet Registry, which is vital for operations.

The critical importance of data integrity in the grocery sector is becoming the focus of collaborative industry efforts worldwide, with a recent report by GS1 UK finding that leading UK grocery retailers and suppliers could save over a billion dollars a year by implementing GS1 standards-based processes for product data sharing.

Canadian grocery sector representatives have taken a leadership position in the global supply chain community by collaborating to drive data integrity through use of GS1 standards and ECCnet Registry.  Best in Class results from the 2010 Grocery Data Integrity Audit will become the new industry benchmark for 2011 data integrity efforts, as the sector moves towards the goal of 100 per cent accuracy of product data exchanged in the grocery supply chain.


"Data quality is a critical foundation for business success.  Canada’s grocery retailers are committed to working with their suppliers to achieve 100 per cent accuracy in the product data exchanged during the normal course of business through ECCnet Registry.  We are not there yet, but the results of the Audit demonstrate that this goal is achievable and that through continued adoption of best practices we will solidify Canada’s leadership position in data synchronization."

David Wilkes, Senior Vice-President, Trade & Business Development, Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors

"For retailers, inaccurate or outdated product data can mean incorrect or delayed product orders and deliveries, inventory mismanagement and duplicated administrative work.  Canada’s independent grocers therefore welcome opportunities for trading partner collaboration to improve data accuracy in ECCnet Registry using global GS1 standards and best practices." 

Ward Hanlon, Vice President, Industry Relations, Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers

"This is the age of information.  Retailers, governments and consumers are increasingly calling for product data ranging from U.P.C. information to nutrition and allergen details and packaging and carbon footprint facts.  The accuracy of this data is paramount to driving supply chain efficiencies and reducing costs.  Achieving complete data accuracy in the grocery supply chain is an ambitious but very tangible goal, made possible through the extraordinary efforts of our members and the strong cooperation of our industry partners."

Lesley McKeever, Senior Vice-President, Industry Affairs & Membership, Food and Consumer Products of Canada

"The need for clean, accurate, and trusted data is increasingly transforming the global business environment.  Together, Canadian grocery sector leaders are driving data integrity through adoption of GS1 standards and use of ECCnet Registry; building a smarter supply chain that will mean better business."

N. Arthur Smith, President & CEO, GS1 Canada

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For more information, contact:
Lianne Castelino
Senior Manager, Public Affairs
GS1 Canada
416-510-8039 x2229

About the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors
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.  CCGD members include large and small retail and wholesale operations, food service distributors and allied members that provide products and services to the industry. Together, they represent approximately $121 billion in retail sales. As Canada’s second largest commercial sector, association members employ approximately 428,000 Canadians in more than 12,000 communities from coast to coast to coast.

About the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers
The Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG) is a non-profit trade association founded in 1962, which continues to be a collaborative community, equipping and enabling independent, franchised and specialty grocers for sustainable success. Representing over 4000 grocery retailers from every part of Canada, CFIG is a strong and united voice for independent grocers, providing programs for operational excellence, facilitating educational and training programs and fostering enabling-relationships among retailers and suppliers. CFIG is a respected organization that speaks confidently for its retail members to industry, government, and the consumer.

About Food and Consumer Products of Canada
Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC) is the largest industry association representing Canadian-operated food and consumer product companies that make and market national and retailer brands sold through retail and foodservice outlets. The industry employs approximately 300,000 Canadians across the country, making it the largest employer in the Canadian manufacturing sector, generating $24 billion annually in GDP (13% of the Manufacturing Gross Domestic Product). On an annual basis, the industry donates an estimated $100 million in cash donations to charitable causes and over 5 million bags of groceries to food banks in Canada. The industry has a record of embracing world-class regulatory standards and is governed by 442 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 over 20 sectors across Canada – to enhance their efficiency and cost effectiveness by adopting electronic supply chain best practices. Learn more at

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