Dutch confectionery company Tony’s Chocolonely, retailer Albert Heijn and chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut have partnered to work toward ending child labor and modern slavery in the chocolate industry, setting a new standard that increases pressure on the industry to drive structural change.
With a mission to make 100 percent slave-free the norm in chocolate, Tony’s Chocolonely has been calling on companies to follow its example for cocoa sourcing based on direct relations with cocoa cooperatives, traceable cocoa and a living income for cocoa farmers.
Tony’s Chocolonely shares full details of its transparent supply chain under Tony’s Open Chain – an open-source platform where chocolate companies can access expertise needed to eliminate social issues from their own supply chain. The platform includes tools such as Tony’s Beantracker and the Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System that has been implemented at all Tony’s partner cooperatives.
Albert Heijn is the first company to sign up for Tony’s Open Chain, while world-leading chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut has enabled the partnership with its expertise in processing the segregated cocoa to chocolate.
"This is a giant step for the chocolate industry, and an important move towards making sustainable chocolate the industry standard by 2025,” says Antoine de Saint-Affrique, ceo of Barry Callebaut. “It’s an amazing opportunity to collaborate with both the biggest retailer in the Netherlands and a company as committed to its slave-free mission as Tony's Chocolonely, and we look forward to expanding this success story through our logistical expertise.”
Starting in March 2019, Albert Heijn's Delicata chocolate bars will be made with fully traceable cocoa, bought at a higher price from Tony's Chocolonely partner cooperatives in Ghana and the Ivory Coast.
“We want to make a difference,” says Henk van Harn, v.p. of strategic sourcing with Albert Heijn. “That’s why we think it is important to make a structural contribution to shape a better life for cocoa farmers. All Albert Heijn’s Delicata chocolate letters and bars have been UTZ certified since 2010. Now we are taking an important next step towards a transparent and sustainable cocoa chain. The recipes and taste of our Delicata chocolate will remain unchanged.”
Extreme poverty is the main cause of lasting social issues in the cocoa industry, issues that will only be resolved when companies go beyond certifications and are willing to pay a higher price than the certification premium. Tony’s Chocolonely’s five sourcing principles enable cocoa farmers to earn a livable income and remove anonymity from the supply chain, knowing exactly who grows the beans and under which circumstances.
The partnership between Tony’s Chocolonely, Albert Heijn and Barry Callebaut shows it is possible to make a difference on a large scale, and calls on other companies in the industry to join.
“Together we make more impact. I’m thrilled that Albert Heijn and Barry Callebaut are joining us on our roadmap towards slave-free chocolate,” says Henk Jan Beltman, chief chocolate officer for Tony’s Chocolonely. “We have always aimed to be exemplary and inspire others to act. Today our impact is bigger than our chocolate alone. We’re certain that this is just the first step on the journey to change the industry - together make chocolate 100 percent slave-free.”