Beverage giant Coca-Cola, the US State Department, and two blockchain companies are jointly launching a blockchain project to build a secure and non-secretive registry for employees in a bid to address the issue of forced labor at a global level. As reported by Reuters, US fintech companies Bitfury and Emercoin are the two blockchain companies working on the blockchain platform.
In an emailed statement, the state department said this was its first project involving the application of distributed ledger technology (DLT).
Coca-Cola revealed it had been testing numerous blockchain use cases for over a year.
Global head of workplace rights at Coca-Cola, Brent Wilton, told Reuters:
“We are partnering with the pilot of this project to further increase transparency and efficiency of the verification process related to labor policies within our supply chain.”
Food and beverage corporations have a deal with the hazards of forced labor in regions where sugarcane is obtained. KnowTheChain (KTC), an initiative launched by US-based Humanity Unite, reported in 2017 that the majority of food and beverage companies did not address the problem.
As reported by the KTC study, which involved ten multinationals, Coca-Cola had plans to carry out 28 studies on forced labor, child labor, and land rights for its sugar supply chains by 2020.
The International Labor Organization has established that almost 25 million people worldwide are working in forced-labor conditions. The Asia-Pacific region accounts for 47% of the total.
Blockchain Trust Accelerator (BTA), a non-profit organization that is also a participant of the project said the new venture was meant to create a secure registry for employees based on DLT validation and digital notary features.
Deputy Assistant Secretary Scott Busby informed Reuters the US State Department would provide assistance and advice related to labor protection.
“The Department of State is excited to work on this innovative blockchain-based pilot,” he said.
In October last year, several US Department of State Officials praised the potential of the blockchain, saying it had revolutionary applications in different areas of life.