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Making sure social welfare is respected at farm-level




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Interested in social monitoring for your farm? For more information:

Agricultural supply chains are highly complex, with many production tiers and involved stakeholders. This makes product traceability and assurance of fair labor standards along the supply chain a challenge. Thailand’s sugarcane industry is no exception, where workers are susceptible to forced labor and exploitation. Indeed, according to a 2022 ILO survey*, 58.7% of migrant workers made less than the statutory minimum wage of the province in which they were employed. And while 50% of men were paid less than the minimum wage, the figure rises to 65.7% for women migrant workers. Also, not only are they likely to be exploited, but they are kept out of the social and medical security system : study shows that two-third of migrant workers that should be enrolled in these schemes aren’t.

This renders transparent sourcing of sugarcane essential to ensure the integrity and sustainability of the supply chain. In that regard, VerifiK8 has developed a sustainability analytics platform that helps monitor and ensure social and environmental sustainability down to the farm level. Moreover, it links industry stakeholders (input suppliers, buyers, retailers, cooperatives etc.) through a common digitized platform.


Thus, from August 2019 to February 2022, VerifiK8 partnered with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Thailand Counter Trafficking in Persons project (Thailand CTIP) and Winrock International to pilot V8’s solution. The aim was to collect data and monitor social aspects for workers and sugar mills in Thailand with newly designed features. The first part of the project was focused on raising awareness on social aspects of the sugarcane supply chain among representatives from mills and global buyers. This was achieved through intensive capacity building sessions focusing on farm labor practices and ethical sourcing standards. 

Three key functions were developed thanks to a threefold scheme : Define - Test - Iterate.

  • 12 social metrics aligned with international and local labor standards were defined and their underlying measurement criteria were implemented into V8 to better monitor labor practices**

  • A grievance mechanism was added to monitor social metrics, allow workers to file grievances, and connect them with proper authorities for support;

  • A blockchain contract storage function that creates and stores immutable copies of worker contracts and records information including salary and working hours.


As a result of this first phase, the project uplifted farmers and workers’ skills to use the integrated technology of V8 to monitor farm labor practices and farm employment transparency while empowering worker’s voice through the grievance mechanism.


In a second phase (February 2021-January 2022), V8 and its partners tried to scale their findings by expanding the number of stakeholders. Some milestones were set, especially the co-creation of workshops to better understand users’ needs. It helped catalyze the project’s objective to increase the regular use of the solution for identifying, monitoring and resolving social and labor issues. The direct next steps are to grow the number of corporate clients (e.g. mills, brands, standard setters) supporting and using V8’s solution for social monitoring and performance improvement. It is as well to align V8’s platform with key global standards (Bonsucro, Proterra, Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI), buyer’s code of conduct), as well as using information from the solution to support reporting and meeting social requirements.

This project allowed VerifiK8 to replicate this threefold scheme with its partners : 


  • Co-create the standards with different stakeholders (input suppliers, buyers, retailers, cooperatives etc.)

  • Test the application with workers on the social survey feature

  • Add a social survey folder in the application

  • Commit the farmers’ groups to engage in the future with the topics on social issues at the farm


  • Formalize daily contracts through blockchain technology

  • Organize the flow of grievance mechanism in the application

  • Iterate the surveys by modifying the questions directly in the app


  • Develop welfare metrics

  • Conceptualize overall graphs of social risk for all farms

  • Support in the short term decent child care


** i.e. workers’ representation index, grievance mechanism, child labour, fair recruitment, fair remuneration, decent working hours, non-discrimination and gender, health & safety, fair disciplinary procedures, community development, freedom of mouvement and forced labour)

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