7 July 2023
Tony’s Chocolonely is an impact company that makes chocolate, putting social impact before profit. Not only is their chocolate incredibly tasty, but they fight to make a change within the cocoa industry, with their inspiring mission to make chocolate 100% slave free - not just their own chocolate, but all chocolate worldwide.
So, what’s the story?
Tragically, illegal child labour and modern slavery are the reality within the chocolate industry. In Ghana and the Ivory Coast, 1.56 million children are work under illegal conditions and 30,000 people are victims of modern slavery. Tony’s choose to work in these countries as they believe that by changing the industry from within, chocolate companies can ensure a fairer playing field for farmers and their communities. They have been striving for slave free chocolate for the past 14 years. They are setting the standard. They even divide their 180g bars into uneven pieces to represent the unfairly divided profits within the industry.
The team at Tony’s believe that there are 5 Sourcing Principles that are essential to enable long-term progress and a more sustainable cocoa chain. These ensure Tony’s can develop more equal business relationships with their suppliers in West Africa:
Since 2014, Tony’s pay cocoa farmers 25% more than the standard price they receive for their cocoa. This is based on the findings of a study by True Price, which calculated the amount cocoa farmers needed to be paid to receive a living income. This additional living income reference price supplements the Fairtrade certified price with an additional Tony’s premium.
Tony’s work to professionalise farming cooperatives. Their partner cooperatives work with Technoserve, a non-profit that provides coaching specific to each co-op’s needs. By investing time and training into farmers, they build stronger relationships and increase productivity.
Tony’s lock in their higher price per tonne of cocoa to their farmers for a minimum of 5 years. This ensures income security for their farmers and enables financial planning. Most of their farmers stay in contract much longer than the 5 years.
Tony’s invest in their famers via agricultural knowledge, skills, and innovation training. For example, learning about practices such as composting helps to reduce waste and carbon footprints. Healthier farms produce higher yields, cutting back the need to encroach into forests. This knowledge and training helps their farmers improve productivity and product quality on their farms so they can earn a decent income.
Due to buying their cocoa beans directly from farmers and cooperatives with visible social and environmental scorecards, Tony’s supply chain is traceable and manageable. Tony’s use a bean tracker to track the beans all the way along the supply chain, right down to the individual farmer! By doing this, Tony’s can also identify any issues and take steps to rectify them.
We are incredibly proud to work with a company with such an amazing and impactful story. Producing great tasting chocolate in a range of flavours is one thing but using your opportunities to make a real difference to those who need it in the cocoa industry - that’s inspiring!
Read more about Tony Chocolonely’s inspiring mission here: https://tonyschocolonely.com/uk/en/our-mission