We have patented a supply chain system to eliminate modern slavery in supply chains. Digital certificates are used to authenticate worker identity for banking. Smallholder farmers are then uniquely linked with four-foot cubic "modules" (pallets with walls) to transport their product. These modules can be RFID-tracked continuously to verify product delivery and electronic payment is made directly and immediately. This removes worker vulnerability and verifies their product's movement end-to-end.

Example of banana module used for shipping

Implemented in

  • Latin America / Caribbean
  • North America

Sectors of activity
Agricultural and Fishery, Environmental Services, Consumer Goods, Food & Beverage, Scientific Research, Development and Innovation, Public Procurement

Type of initiative
Capacity Building & Implementation, Education & Awareness Raising, Research, Analysis, Assessment

Type of lead actor
Business Sector

Budget
3800000 US$

Start date
03/06/2019

End date
31/05/2024

Shared by

Glen Munholland

Director, International Development

Circular Supply Chains Inc.

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Objectives

The objective is to eliminate modern slavery in supply chains to alleviate poverty for women. Smallholder farmers (male or female) can grow their own crops and use our four-foot cubic "modules" for shipping. Workers are authenticated with digital certificates to register them for bank accounts. Each authenticated worker is uniquely linked to as many modules as necessary to ship their products to market. Each module is RFID-tracked (Internet of Things) continuously to verify delivery and electronic payment is made directly and immediately to the smallholder's account. A Grameen methodology is utilized for financing and structuring of the payment system. Cooperatives can be established to scale the initiative. "Smart" contracts within a Distributed Ledger Technology network minimizes administrative tasks and provides an immutable record of every transaction and the ledgers of all network members are reconciled in real-time.

This concept, called the Cargo Carousel System, alleviates the vulnerability of migrant workers and manual labourers by allowing them to register with current banking systems to open their own accounts and manage their own financial affairs. It also measures their individual production and tracks their shipments through to delivery. This tracking capability coupled with Distributed Ledger Technology removes the ability of employers to withhold a worker's payment or deduct frivolous/fictitious charges.

By convening partners to facilitate knowledge exchange, highlighting innovative investment approaches, building the evidence base for the industry, and producing valuable resources, this project seeks to accelerate the industry's development through focused leadership and collective action. Our strategy is not about just complying with what’s right – it’s about transformation.

"Give a person a fish, you feed them for a day. Teach them how to fish, you feed them for a lifetime".

We all have a right to free choices and fair participation in the affairs of the planet and the global economy. If we want to correct the historical misgivings of humanity, be it social, economic or environmental, we need to radically alter our thinking to develop completely new solutions that will sustain us well into the future. We believe the Cargo Carousel System is one of those solutions.

Please join us in our efforts to eliminate modern slavery and the poverty it can cause because we can't do this alone.

Activities

In 2013 Glen Munholland sold his reverse logistics company to focus on eliminating modern slavery in supply chains. These timelines explain the activities that followed.

Impact and Results

According to a report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation titled, FORCED LABOUR IN THE UNITED KINGDOM, it states, “At the core of forced labour is the nexus between an individual’s vulnerability and a setting in which this individual’s work or services can be exploited for profit without too much risk of discovery or prosecution. Tackling forced labour therefore requires attention to both of these”.

That attention then, needs to 1) eliminate their vulnerability and 2) create a setting to ensure the potential for exploitation is continuously monitored for possible prosecution. Technology is already under development to address both of these simultaneously to eliminate forced labour in supply chains; a starting point to eliminating modern slavery wherever it occurs.

Modern slavery is a major cause of poverty. If we can eliminate slavery then we can reduce poverty dramatically. Smallholder farmers in many countries eek out a living by growing marketable food products, but economies of scale are difficult to achieve by individual farmers alone and this is where individual smallholder farmers can become vulnerable to the downstream interests of commercial supply chain participants. If we take away the profit motive we take away the catalyst of modern slavery. This project will be developed under a Public Private Partnership allowing the Public (or Non-profit) sector to scale the project for the benefit of smallholder farmers in eliminating modern slavery and this application of the Cargo Carousel System will remain within the Public or Non-profit domain to ensure fidelity to the original cause while the Private sector moves on to develop other applications of the system in commercial settings. This allows oversight of the project to ensure the profit motive is eliminated but allows collaboration with commercial ventures for global shipping requirements as it helps to build economies of scale for smallholder farmers. Each module uniquely links to its lessee/owner to continuously verify ownership as it's tracked so the Public/Non-profit sectors can cross paths with the commercial sector and still remain independent of each other. It's imperative that the profit motive be kept out of the equation. Without a profit motive there is less incentive to abuse vulnerable workers and the tracking capabilities increases the visibility of anyone trying to circumvent the network.

Next steps and how to get involved

To get involved please feel free to contact the project leader, Glen Munholland at: glen.m@circularsupplychains.com

Next steps:
1) Identify design team and stakeholders. The composition of the design team can have a significant impact on the quality of project design. A gender equitable, participatory approach to project planning and design will yield best benefits.
2) Conduct situation analysis. Define realistic expected results based on appropriate analyses.
3) Develop theory of change, including logic model (LM), outputs and activities matrix (OAM) and narrative. This step focuses on how to determine the project's expected outcomes and the means to achieve them, and how to document the assumptions that are being made and the external factors and risks that may influence the achievement of the outcomes.
4) Develop a performance measurement framework (PMF) and a results-based monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plan. Development of tools that will enable the gathering and analysis of the information needed throughout implementation.
Further development details are laid out on our website at: https://2waysupplychain.com/eliminating-modern-slavery/