Case Date Coding Case Date Coding
Contact us to learn more about GS1 Canada 1.800.567.7084

Contact us to learn
more about GS1 Canada
or Email Us

GS1 Canada Logo links home

Case Date Coding – An Overview

Manufacturers and retailers in grocery and foodservice strive to improve the flow of goods through the supply chain to minimize waste and reduce costs. In Canada, specific date information needs to be included on cases within the supply chain to:

  • Minimize waste and spoilage
  • Allow for efficient stock rotations
  • Preserve product quality and freshness

While some manufacturers already provide secondary date information – such as production, expiration, and/or best before dates – dates need to be clearly available on cases using an industry-wide standard.

The Industry Implementation Protocol for Case Date Coding reflects industry’s agreement to adopt standard marking and communication of date information on cases. The protocol includes human-and machine-readable formats, which align with GS1 standard.

This industry-led protocol was endorsed by:

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

All parties recognize the need for a standard implementation protocol for case date coding.

Industry’s Next Steps

GS1 Canada, in partnership with supporting industry associations, will assist industry implementation by providing education on case date coding standards. Categories have been established for adoption and implementation, and are included in the protocol below.

A January 1, 2012 timeline has been established for frozen food and dairy categories. The protocol may be expanded in the future to include additional categories.

The industry:

  • Agrees to the use of the defined date code formats and definitions, as outlined in this protocol for managing stock rotation
  • Acknowledges that the date standard format expressed in the protocol will be accepted as the industry standard, effective January 1, 2012

Implementation and utilization is voluntary and should be discussed between individual trading partners.

Case Date Coding Modules

In January 2012, GS1 Canada, along with industry associations, organized two meetings to educate trading partners and foodservice operators and prepare them for the Case Date Coding Protocol. The Protocol, based on global GS1 standards, provides an industry-approved case date coding standard for frozen food and dairy categories.

To support compliance of the Protocol, please access the modules below for a background of the initiative and industry requirements.

Education Modules Size Filetype
History 53 MB
Protocol 117 MB
Technical 72 MB

Technical Documents Size Filetype
2011 FALL Industry Implementation Protocol for Case Date Coding 445 KB
2011 FALL Case Date Code - Frequently Asked Questions 30 KB
CFIA Communication on Case Identification 32 KB

For additional details, contact GS1 Canada at 1.800.567.7084 ext 341 or email