The U.S. State Department and two other companies have partnered with Coca-Cola to use blockchain technology to create a secure global registry for workers, with the aim of eliminating forced labour worldwide.
In a study last year by KnowTheChain (KTC), a partnership founded by ‘Humanity United‘, Coca-Cola was one of 10 global companies that were studied to reveal the short comings of their efforts to solve forced labour.
Food and beverage companies are under pressure to address the risk of forced labour, in countries where they obtain sugarcane. Research has revealed that:
“almost 25 million people work in forced labour conditions worldwide, of which 47 percent of them are in the Asia-Pacific region”. – International Labor Organization
Coca-Cola’s global head of workplace rights, Brent Wilton, who ranks No. 37 on the Top 100 Human Trafficking & Slavery Influence Leaders List, said:
“We are partnering with the pilot of this project to further increase transparency and efficiency of the verification process related to labour policies within our supply chain.”
The company says it is exploring multiple blockchain projects. Coca-Cola has committed to undertake 28 country-level studies on child labour, forced labour and land rights for its sugar supply chains by 2020.
Also involved in the project is Blockchain Trust Accelerator (BTA), a non-profit organisation that specialises in harnessing blockchain to deliver social impact.
Valery Vavilov, CEO of Bitfury Group, the world’s leading full-service blockchain technology company, confirmed they will build the platform for this project, working together with the Emercoin Group to provide blockchain services.
As the first major project on this issue, it reinforces the technology’s growing potential for social causes. The U.S. State Department will provide expertise on labour protection, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Scott Busby stated:
“The Department of State is excited to work on this innovative blockchain-based pilot”