Chocolate might be a sweet treat to enjoy, but the supply chain isn’t exactly squeaky clean. Sixty percent of the world’s cocoa comes from West Africa, where the Washington Post reports “Two million children are engaged in dangerous labor in cocoa-growing regions.” Although the world’s leading brands pledged to eradicate child labor through the 2001 Harkin–Engel Protocol, it’s been nearly two decades and many companies still can’t trace their supply chain. Its smaller operations like Tony’s Chocolonely that are leading the charge, proving its possible to have a profitable chocolate business without the use of slavery.
The History of Tony's Chocolonely
In 2001, Dutch journalist Teun van de Keuken started an investigation into child slavery in West Africa after reading a book on the subject. His television program, Keuringsdienst van Waarde, revealed secrets behind the industry, and van de Keuken was so committed to making a difference that he produced 5,000 fair trade chocolate bars, which sold out almost immediately.
Tony's Chocolonely Company Mission
The mission behind Tony’s Chocolonely is to end child labor and modern slavery in cocoa supply chains around the world. The brand empowers cocoa farmers by educating them about what kind of work is and isn’t allowed for children, and invests in long-term partnerships with cocoa farmer cooperatives by paying them higher prices, and offering agricultural training. Also, every chocolate bar from Tony’s is made from fully traceable cocoa from bean to bar.
Benefits of Tony's Chocolonely
To develop a delicious line of slave-free cocoa, Tony’s developed five sourcing principles to guide its efforts.
- Traceable beans: Traceability is non-negotiable for Tony’s, who purchases beans directly from its partner cooperatives in West Africa.
- Higher prices: Tony’s pays an additional premium for cocoa beans, which helps farmers not only cover basic expenses, but move their families out of poverty.
- Invest in farmers: To develop strong cooperatives, Tony’s trains farmers how to streamline operations, scale, and build trust among local farmers.
- Long-term relationships: Tony’s works with farmers for at least five years. This means farmers are guaranteed an income that allows them to invest in their farms, while also supporting their families.
- Improved productivity: According to Tony’s, a farmer supported by a professional cooperative should be able to produce 800 kilos of cocoa per hectare, but many farmers only produce 30 to 40 percent of what the brand believes is possible, missing out on income in the process. Tony’s premium (see above), makes it possible for farmers to invest in resources that will help increase quality, like better fertilizer and tree pruning tools. Because these efforts take time, it’s one more reason Tony’s chooses to work with farmers over the long-term.
Top Tony's Chocolonely Products
It’s time to dig in and discover what’s inside Tony’s signature red wrapper.
Milk Chocolate 32% Bar
Bite into the first chocolate bar this brand ever made. The fun red wrapper makes this treat feel like a present every time you open it, and each serving delivers 2g of protein, plus iron and calcium.
Extra Dark Chocolate 70% Bar
Rich and layered, Tony’s Extra Dark Chocolate Bar features 70 percent fair trade dark chocolate. Enjoy a square on its own, or chop it up for baking projects like cookies or banana bread.
Almond Sea Salt 51% Bar
Looking for a salty and sweet treat? This crunchy dark chocolate bar is studded with toasted almonds and topped with a light sprinkle of flaky salt.
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