Dutch impact organization Tony’s Chocolonely, retailer Albert Heijn and chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut have forged a strategic partnership to end child labor and modern slavery in the chocolate industry. Together the companies are setting a new industry standard that increases pressure on the wider chocolate industry to drive structural change to work towards a more equally divided cocoa chain.
With a mission to make 100% slave-free the norm in chocolate, for years Tony’s Chocolonely has been calling on companies to follow their example for cocoa sourcing based on direct relations with cocoa cooperatives, traceable cocoa and a living income for cocoa farmers. The company shares full details of its transparent supply chain under Tony’s Open Chain – an open-source platform where chocolate companies can access all the 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.
Dutch biggest retailer 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.”
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 with 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% slave-free.”
From March 2019 Delicata will hit Albert Heijn shelves with chocolate made exclusively from fully traceable cocoa, bought at a higher price from Tony’s Chocolonely partner cooperatives in Ghana and the Ivory Coast. 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. According to Tony's Chocolonely, extreme poverty is the main cause of lasting social issues in the cocoa industry, issues which will only be resolved when companies go beyond certifications and are willing to pay a higher price than the certification premium.
“We want to make a difference. 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”, comments Henk van Harn, VP Strategic Sourcing with Albert Heijn. “The recipes and taste of our Delicata chocolate will remain unchanged.”
The three parties unveiled the news of their partnership today at the Tony’s FAIR, Tony’s Chocolonely’s annual meeting in Amsterdam.
About Tony’s Chocolonely (www.tonyschocolonely.com):
Tony’s Chocolonely exists to make chocolate 100% slave free. Not just its own chocolate, but all chocolate worldwide. It’s an impact organization making chocolate. Tony’s Chocolonely was founded in 2005 by three journalists from the Dutch TV show ‘Keuringdienst van Waarde’ after they discovered that the world’s largest chocolate manufacturers were buying cocoa from plantations that used illegal child labour and modern slavery. Since then Tony’s Chocolonely has dedicated its efforts to raise awareness about the inequality in the chocolate industry. They lead by example by building direct long term relationships with cocoa farmers in Ghana and The Ivory Coast paying them a higher price and working together to solve the underlying causes of modern slavery. They want to inspire the industry as a whole to make 100% slave free the norm in chocolate. Tony’s Chocolonely has grown to become the largest chocolate brand in the Netherlands and is now available in multiple markets like the USA, Germany, Belgium and Scandinavia
About Albert Heijn
In 2017 and 2018, Albert Heijn was named the most sustainable supermarket chain in the Netherlands. This is the result of a large number of measures the company has taken to reduce food waste and the use of packaging materials step by step. Another important part of the company’s sustainability policy is its initiative to make production chains and processes increasingly transparent.
About Barry Callebaut Group (www.barry-callebaut.com):
With annual sales of about CHF 6.9 billion (EUR 6.0 billion / USD 7.1 billion) in fiscal year 2017/18, the Zurich-based Barry Callebaut Group is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products – from sourcing and processing cocoa beans to producing the finest chocolates, including chocolate fillings, decorations and compounds. The Group runs about 60 production facilities worldwide and employs a diverse and dedicated global workforce of more than 11,500 people. The Barry Callebaut Group serves the entire food industry, from industrial food manufacturers to artisanal and professional users of chocolate, such as chocolatiers, pastry chefs, bakers, hotels, restaurants or caterers. The two global brands catering to the specific needs of these Gourmet customers are Callebaut® and Cacao Barry®. The Barry Callebaut Group is committed to sustainable cocoa production to help ensure future supplies of cocoa and improve farmer livelihoods. It supports the Cocoa Horizons Foundation in its goal to shape a sustainable cocoa and chocolate future.