Can Blockchain Break the Chains of Forced Labor?

Can Blockchain Break the Chains of Forced Labor?

April 8, 2018

In a previous post, we discussed blockchain’s use in the food supply chain to speed up tracking. Now it’s being used for responsible sourcing.

Can blockchain technology address the use of forced labor in countries that produce sugar cane?

Around 45 million individuals are in forced labor conditions worldwide, according to the International Labor Organization.  Many food and beverage companies are under pressure to eliminate forced labor.

In the U.S. State Department’s first major project to use blockchain for a social issue, it is working with Coca Cola to address this issue in its sugar cane supply chain.

The thought is that the transparency of blockchain may reduce the use of forced labor.  In and of itself, this technology won’t prevent unethical labor practices, but it could provide a chain of evidence for Coca Cola to document responsible sourcing of its sugar cane.

This post is based on the Reuters article, Coca-Cola, U.S. State Dept To Use Blockchain To Combat Forced Labor, by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss, March 16, 2018. Image sources: Shutterstock / heromen30 and Shutterstock / DR MANAGER.

Discussion Questions

1. How important is the responsible sourcing of materials?

Guidance:  It is increasingly important. Continue reading