Management & legal News

Major standards body GS1 US appoints first blockchain VP

Standards quality

GS1 US has appointed former Coca-Cola executive Kraig Adams as the vice president for blockchain. Adams started in his new role in October and will focus on driving the use of GS1 standards for blockchain interoperability and data quality.

The announcement of the newly created role comes a year after the launch of the GS1 US Blockchain Discussion Group, a cross-industry collaboration to study the implementation of GS1 Standards to blockchain.

“After collaborating with Kraig for many years over the course of his tenure with Coca-Cola, we have confidence that he is the right leader to help industry understand the complexities of blockchain implementation and achieve alignment on GS1 Standards for improved interoperability,” said Siobhan O’Bara, SVP, community engagement, GS1 US.

Adams spent 25 years with Coca-Cola North America in various roles, most recently as the company’s vice president of national foodservice distribution. While at Coke he became an Executive Committee Member of the GS1 US Foodservice standards initiative. But his new position will span across multiple sectors. Given that traceability is an important blockchain use case, the appointment shouldn’t come as a surprise.

GS1 US is a non-profit standards organization which is trying to improve supply chain visibility and efficiency. It is best known for the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) standard, an identifier for trade items which can be used to look up product information from a database.

A quick search on Ledger Insights throws up numerous enterprise blockchain projects using GS1 standards ranging from Target and IBM Food Trust to Mediledger for pharmaceuticals.

Two months ago, GS1 and SAP announced a blockchain prototype for tracking the tire-treading process. The goal is to digitize tire retread activities to improve road safety.

GS1 is also collaborating with Digital Bazaar and 20 other partners on a blockchain identity project. The initiative aims to build verifiable IDs for firms in the retail and commerce supply chain. The standards body is also participating in other identity initiatives.