“Chocolate With a Conscience” The world of chocolate production is vast, but when it comes to ethical standards, only one name stands out for its commitment to fairness and sustainability – Tony’s Chocolonely. The Dutch-based chocolate company has been working since 2005 to make ethical chocolate the norm and break the link between labour exploitation and its production.
We’re going to look at how Tony’s has set a new standard for chocolate production, ensuring quality ingredients and an emphasis on sustainable sourcing along with its efforts to push for an industry shift to prevent modern slave labor. From its origins in investigative journalism to its current efforts in green sourcing, let’s take a look at the Tony’s Chocolonely story.
An Aminal to end Slavery: Teun van de Keuken’s Mission
Tony’s Chocolonely was founded in 2005 by Teun van de Keuken, a journalist who, in investigating the labour exploitation in the cocoa industry, was driven to create a company that could end slavery and drive a more ethical approach to chocolate production.
With this mission in mind, Teun and his crew at KVW created a chocolate range using Fairtrade ingredients, printed on bright red packaging to make a statement – that chocolate can taste good as well as be produced in a manner that doesn’t involve labour exploitation. The chocolate was aptly named Tony’s Chocolonely to pay respect to van de Keuken’s own surname and to pay tribute to his belief that chocolate could be made differently.
Chocolate with a Conscience: Delicious Chocolate, Moral Principles: Tonys’s 5 Sourcing Principles for Modern Slavery Free Cocoa
At Tony’s Chocolonely, their mission to make ethical chocolate the norm was further emphasised and made actionable through the company’s 5 Sourcing Principles for modern slavery-free cocoa. This set of principles outlines the various standards of quality and care that Tony’s follows to ensure their chocolate is produced with responsible and fair labour practices.
These Five Sourcing Principles for modern slavery-free cocoa include: paying attention to cocoa plantations, sustainable bitter cocoa, fair trade, traceable cocoa and carefully selected direct relations. It is through these principles that Tony’s is able to produce Fairtrade certified chocolate bars that are both delicious and ethically produced.
Battling the Big Seven: Tony’s Chocolonely Calls Out Mondelez International
As a B-Corp and Fairtrade certified chocolate producer, Tony’s Chocolonely is also living up to its mission to make ethical chocolate the norm by calling out other major chocolate companies whose practices are contributing to the continued exploitation of labour in the cocoa industry.
One of the more prominent targets of Tony’s mission has been Mondelez International – the parent company of Cadbury – which has a powerful sway over the chocolate industry due to its wide-ranging brand offerings. Tony’s has been vocal in its criticism of Mondelez International, taking its aim at the international producer and its lack of ethical practices.
Slave Free Chocolates: Exploring the Difference Tony’s Chocolonely is Making
As a part of its mission, Tony’s Chocolonely consciously works to challenge the status quo in the chocolate industry, forming relationships with bigger cocoa producers such as Barry Callebaut, in order to show that full traceability and ethical chocolate production is possible on a larger scale.
This awareness-driven approach to production led to Tony’s Chocolonely’s recent exclusion from a list of ethical chocolate companies, as compiled by Slave Free Chocolate. Despite this slightly incongruous repercussion, Tony’s remains dedicated to its mission and continues to work to find innovative ways of engaging the industry.
Conclusion: Tony’s Chocolonely Still Has A Long Way to Go
Despite the progress that the team at Tony’s has achieved, their mission is far from near its completion. The truth of the matter is that the chocolate industry is one that is rife with unethical practices, including labour exploitation and unfair labour practices.
The access to affordable and delicious chocolate that Tony’s Chocolonely has made possible through its Fairtrade, ethical approach to production is commendable. Hopefully, with the brand continuing to lead the way with its commitment to “chocolate with a conscience”, changes can be made that will positively feel the industry and reduce the exploitation of labour in the cocoa industry.