‘Serious About People’ with Tony’s Chocolonely
Written by Danielle Irene
Published July 16, 2018
Perhaps the most obscured culprit in our developed world is actually right under our nose—often literally. Whether it be a celebrity telling us we aren’t ourselves without it, or an alliterated fictional magic man, the road to happiness is often associated with one thing: chocolate.
Unfortunately, according to marketing manager Dena White, “there’s a very bitter side to chocolate. 2.1 million children are working illegally on cocoa farms in West Africa because the market price of cocoa is way too low.”
Meet Tony’s Chocolonely: a Dutch chocolate manufacturing company that uniquely follows fair trade practices within their industry. Chocolonely was founded in 2005; since then, the company has taken strong steps to oppose slavery and child labor. They partner with trading companies in West Africa to buy cocoa beans directly from the farmers, instead of exploiting illegal labor.
“[In 2017] we sold over 28 million bars of chocolate and recently became the number one chocolate brand in the Netherlands. Sure, that’s impressive enough, but let’s look at what that actually means,” said White. “We purchased 2.6 million kilos of cocoa beans directly from our partner cooperatives in Ghana and the Ivory Coast. We’re unique in this respect. We work directly with 5.4 thousand farmers, each of whom earn the Tony’s premium. Last year, we paid almost one million euros in premiums. We’ve created a fully scalable, traceable, and fair business model that any chocolate company can adopt if they choose.”
I was browsing the checkout of a sports store when I stumbled across a Tony’s Chocolonely bar for the first time, but their delicious products are also available online in a variety of flavors.
To help the cause, share the chocolate and share the story. We as consumers can increase awareness by educating each other and enjoying a delicious treat.
“Consumers have massive power to create demand, and brands will have no choice but to listen.”
See the rest of the articles from issue three here