TONY’S CHOCOLONELY – FAIRTRADE FORTNIGHT
“We are an impact company that makes chocolate, not a chocolate company that makes impact”Nicola – Countess of Cocoa
Jo Le Page caught up with Nicola from Tony’s Chocolonely and she was kind enough to supply us with fantastic information about this amazing product. We absolutely love getting to peek behind the scenes of products that we know and love. Thank you very much Nicola.
So pull up a chair, break off a slab of your favourite Tony’s and enjoy the read!
Who am I and what is Tony’s?
I’m Nicola, the Countess of Cocoa at Tony’s Chocolonely aka UK and Ireland marketing manager. We don’t do ‘normal’ job titles here so I work with Lord Chocolonely III and the Baroness du Choco aka Country manager and sales manager. And job titles are just one thing we do differently at Tony’s. The main thing that makes us different is our mission – to make all chocolate 100% slave free. We are an impact company that makes chocolate, not a chocolate company that makes impact.
My role is to make as many people as possible aware of slavery in the chocolate industry. Because “once we know and are aware, we are responsible for our action and inaction” – that’s one of our favourite quotes from French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre.
There are 2.1 million children that work illegally on cocoa farms in Ghana and Ivory Coast to produce the cocoa that goes into our chocolate, and at least 30,000 instances of modern slavery. This is a result of systemic poverty in the cocoa supply chain because the world’s biggest chocolate companies don’t pay enough for their cocoa. Tony’s exists to change this.
Tony’s Chocolonely was started in 2005 when a team of Dutch journalists discovered these issues in the cocoa supply chain and became determined to put it into the global spotlight. When they couldn’t get support from the big chocolate suppliers, they decided to change the industry from within and show the world that chocolate can be made differently – in taste, packaging and the way that you treat cocoa farmers. This remains our focus almost 15 years later.
Why is Tony’s Different?
At Tony’s Chocolonely we have developed a three-step roadmap to achieve 100% slave-free chocolate. Not just our chocolate, but all chocolate worldwide.
Step 1 – Tony’s Creates Awareness – We believe in empowering and educating cocoa farmers and people in cocoa communities about what is and isn’t allowed regarding child labour.
We also want consumers to be aware of the inequality in the chocolate industry. If retailers and consumers actively demand slave-free chocolate, chocolate companies will have to listen and take action.
Step 2 – Tony’s Leads by Example – Through years of research and development we have identified 5 sourcing principles which allow us to prevent slavery and illegal child labour in our supply chain, and show that other chocolate companies can do it too.
- We have a fully traceable supply chain from bean to bar
- We work with farmer cooperatives to help them professionalise
- We have long term relationships with our partner farmers so they can invest for the future
- We help farmers improve their agricultural knowledge and diversify away from cocoa
- We enable farmers to earn a living income through the additional Tony’s premium we pay on top of the Fairtrade price
No cherry picking! You must have all 5 sourcing principles in place to prevent slavery and illegal child labour.
Step 3 – Tony’s Inspires to Act – We inspire consumers to think about where their chocolate comes from and to demand more from their favourite chocolate brands. And crucially, we inspire key industry players to take action and are actively seeking partners who would be interested in applying our model. We do this by showing them the impact we make, sharing lessons we’ve learned and always being open to a good conversation…while enjoying a piece of chocolate of course!
What have we achieved so far?
The first Tony’s Chocolonely bar sold in Amsterdam in 2005, and now we are the #1 selling chocolate brand in The Netherlands. In 2012 we introduced our sourcing principles and since then we have traded 16k tonnes of traceable cocoa with 5,021 farmers and paid $7million in additional premiums to ensure they earn a living income.
Shop Tony’s at Babipur here – https://www.babipur.co.uk/tonys_chocolonely