Over the last 40 years, GS1 has opened offices in over 100 countries and amassed more than a million members using the GS1 standards that make business easier and more efficient. This website includes the most significant events and years

1973: The bar code standard is agreed

Industry leaders in the US select a single standard for product identification. Still used today, it’s known as the GS1 bar code.

1974: The first bar code is scanned in the US

On 26 April, a packet of chewing gum becomes the first bar coded product to be scanned in a supermarket.

1975: First steps in Finland

A product code group is established in connection with the Finnish Chambers of Commerce that featured representatives from each trade group (Kesko, OTK, SOK, Tuko) and four industrial companies (Huhtamäki, Serlachius, Trans-Meri, Upo). The product code group acts as the product code board’s working committee in monitoring the development of European Article Number operations.

1977: The GS1 system is launched

The European Article Numbering (EAN) Association is established. Finland becomes a member.

1983: Bar codes are used on wholesale multi-packs

As bar codes have proved their reliability and usefulness, they are extended and used on product packaging.

1989: The GS1 system expands to electronic data interchange

The first GS1 electronic messages are taken into use.

1990: Responsibilities grow 

The US and international arms of GS1 come together formally, creating a single organisation with a presence in 45 countries.

1995: First health care standards are created

The GS1 system expends into the health care sector, working closely with health care bodies and providers.

1997: EAN Finland Oy is established

EAN Finland Oy is established to continue the Finnish Chambers of Commerce’s product code committee’s work in international co-operation.

2000: 90th local office opens

In just ten years, we double the number of country organisations.

2002: Global standards forum is launched

Our Global Standards Management Process is launched. This global forum gives GS1 members one place to discuss the development of standards.

2002: Finland’s retail Data Pool

The board of EAN-Finland Oy decides to establish a shared Data Pool for the retail industry and suppliers. The Data Pool pilot was started in 2003 and it was officially taken into use in 2004.

2004: The first standard for RFID is created 

With Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Chips becoming more common, a standard was created for their implementation and use.

2005: The name GS1 is officially assumed

In accordance with an international change, EAN Finland Oy changes its name to GS1 Finland Oy

2013: A 40-year celebration

Offices in over a hundred countries and more than a million members! GS1 celebrates forty years of the global language of business.

2016: Finnish Food and Drink Industries’ Federation and Finnish Grocery Trade Association become owners of GS1 Finland

The Finnish Chambers of Commerce sell 82% of GS1 Finland’s share capital to the Finnish Food and Drink Industries’ Federation and Finnish Food and Drink Industries’ Federation. The new ownership organisation improves co-operation and increases commitment to GS1 Finland’s services.

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