By the end of 2023, 80% of all food companies in the Chinese province of Zhejiang are expected to have their packaging labeled with 2D barcodes. The decision was announced on May 19 and is an agreement between GS1 Global, GS1 China and Zhejiang AMR (Administration for Market Regulation) for increased traceability and safety in the food industry.
In Zhejiang Province with over 65 million inhabitants, authorities in cooperation with GS1 will embark on a comprehensive transition from traditional one-dimensional barcodes to 2D barcodes ( QR and GS1 DataMatrix ). The implementation is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.
Part of a global initiative
China is now one of the countries at the forefront of the Global Migration to 2D initiative, in which GS1 guides industries around the world through the introduction of 2D barcodes. The news has received great national and local media coverage in China in both TV, newspapers and digital media.
More than 7,000 food producers are estimated to be involved in the project and 200 stores will use 2D barcodes to scan all the goods purchased every day in the Chinese province. Printed 2D barcodes on millions of products will bring many benefits to consumers, businesses and regulators and are in line with the growing demand for more and better trade item information.
20 countries have already joined
The program for the global migration of 2D codes has been ongoing since 2020 and so far over 20 countries have joined. For example the supermarket chains Metro in Germany and Woolworths in Australia, which have already rolled out POS reading of the 2D barcodes at the national level. And in Norway, various retailers are currently preparing to read the 2D codes at checkout.