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Not-for-profit organisation GS1 is expanding a supplier database which it claims will transform the ability of smaller companies to communicate environmental and health information about their products.

Launched in 2018 and backed by retailers including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Ocado, the ProductDNA database hopes to create an industry standard for storage of product data, but has previously been limited to large suppliers.

GS1 said expanding the database to smaller companies would allow them to communicate information about the recycling attributes of products, information required by reverse vending machines for DRS as well as accurate information about allergens and lifestyle choices such as vegan products.

“ProductDNA delivers an industry-agreed, standard way to exchange data backed by independent quality verification,” said GS1 CMO Sarah Atkins.

“This means brands stay in control of their product data, retailers do not have to fix data from suppliers and consumers can be confident the product data they see accurately reflects the product they buy.”

She added: “The service will be free for smaller suppliers in the first instance, allowing them to host their product data and providing a single source of trusted data for them and their partners. Other innovation will include the addition of recycling data to the standard platform, allowing suppliers to accurately reflect their products and retailers to report confidently for their CSR.”