To date the palm oil and cocoa supply chain raises several human rights related as well as environmental
issues. For example, land grabbing, workers exploitation and negative impact on livelihood of local
population/indigenous communities occur frequently as well as unsound environmental practices as
(unlawful) burning/replacement of rainforest, depletion of soil, degrading biodiversity and emission
of greenhouse gasses.
The current (certification) mechanisms (such as RSPO) to address these issues do not seem to be sufficient. This is for example reflected by the many complaints RSPO is receiving on land grabbing. Part of the issue appears to be lack of specific information on the situation on the ground and a lack of transparency as well as insufficient monitoring, partially due to lack of traceability of palm oil to its source.
Leopard Ledger and law firm
Pels Rijcken have combined technical expertise with legal expertise as well as expertise
on business and human rights to develop a blockchain application to enhance human rights compliance
in palm oil supply chains; the Responsible Sourcing Ledger.
Blockchain as such does not control information which is feeded into it. In order to improve the reliability of the information in the blockchain it is supported by an artificial intelligence monitoring tool which controls the sustainability information included in the blockchain.
The Responsible Sourcing Ledger does not only build on traceability but aims to build in smart contracts (with include legal requirements) which make payment dependent on meeting of certain prerequisites especially in the responsible business conduct arena.
Responsible Sourcing Ledger is a part of the Blockchain Startup Bootcamp NYC 2018 during the United Nations General Assembly
and is a co-production between Halve Maen, the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in New
York and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).
The bootcamp program is focused on Blockchain startups/scale-ups (developers of applications and software) that are interested in expanding to the US and are interested in the possibilities of working together with UN organizations. Preference is given to startups/scale-ups with a focus on Blockchain for good/social impact.
Leopard Ledger has in-depth experience working on supply chain solutions. A number of examples are food supply chain solutions in which different products like chips, eggs and cheese are uniquely identified. Leopard connected the supply chain and made it transparent from producer till end consumer. Leopard Ledger has added IOT devices and identifier technology to follow products and added a blockchain layer to track and trace all events.
Pels Rijcken has extensive expertise on legal aspects of supply chains (e.g. contractual issues (e.g. in the context of human rights due diligence) and assessing (human rights) risks in supply chains). Pels Rijcken has also advised on many (award-winning) innovative projects that use technologies like blockchain, smart contracts and AI.