Image Credit: Photo by Adam Birkett on Unsplash Coca-Cola is one of the latest companies who has announced that they are going to be using blockchain technology. However, the way they are using it may surprise some people.

They are looking to fight forced labor and have teamed up with the U.S State Department and a trio of crypto organizations (Bitfury Group, Blockchain Trust Accelerator, and Emercoin) to launch a pilot project. Ever since blockchain technology started being explored outside of the cryptocurrency world, there has been a lot of talk about the potential benefits of the technology in the humanitarian sector.

With the technology’s amazing security benefits coupled with the decentralized nature of it, it’s easy to see how it could be used to help increase transparency in many industries and at the same time help to reduce the amount of human cost we are currently guilty of supporting. According to the International Labor Organization, nearly 25 million people work in forced-labor conditions worldwide, with 47 percent of them in the Asia-Pacific region.

When the announcement was made to use blockchain technology to help reduce forced labor it came as no surprise. Other companies are using it in their supply chains to track food, so why not use it to help reduce the number of horrific labor practices that occur in the food and beverage industries.

However, what did surprise people is that one of the first companies to do it is Coca-cola. The beverage industry is infamous for sourcing sugar cane for their “cans of happiness,” which often comes at a terrible price for workers on the sugar cane farms. A report released by Amnesty in 2008 said: “In November 2007, inspection teams found 831 indigenous cane cutters working in poor conditions, also in Mato Grosso do Sul, while over 1,000 people “in conditions analogous to slavery” were released in June from a sugar plantation in Para state.” In ten years not much has changed in the industry. Read more from…

thumbnail courtesy of