Thursday 30 March 2023

Joshua Kissi, Tony’s Chocolonely reinvent the narrative of cocoa

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NEW YORK, U.S. — Tony’s Chocolonely, a Dutch impact company making chocolate, calls on the industry to follow their Open Chain model with full traceability of cocoa beans and direct, equal business relationships with partner farmers who they pay a higher price.

This way, cocoa farmers can achieve a living income and they can hire adult laborers to work at their farms. (

Tony’s Chocolonely Direct relationships

Tony’s Chocolonely also breaks with the single story of poor, powerless and vulnerable cocoa farmers. Within Tony’s Open Chain everybody is connected. “We know exactly who we work with and assess the risks of child labor and forced labor together with the farmer groups. We work directly with our partners and know their unique personalities, skills and stories. The project ‘Reframed, cocoa and color,’ that we launch today celebrates these stories,” says Paul Schoenmakers, Head of Impact of Tony’s Chocolonely. ‘Reframed’ is a digital photo and storytelling expo with the objective to show the impact of direct relationships in the cocoa supply chain.

Power, positivity and progress

Joshua Kissi, NYC born photographer with Ghanaian roots, whose work is known for breaking with stereotypes and inequality, went to Ghana and Ivory Coast and reframed cocoa and color. The colorful frames symbolize the openness and different perspectives of the people in Tony’s Open Chain. Kissi framed power, positivity and progress. He met Sarah, Jérôme, Eugénie, Didier, Martin, Assata, Emmanuel, Gaah, Romeo, Faustina, George, Daouda, Abraham and Stephen. Inspiring, successful, vibrant people working in cocoa in Ghana and Ivory Coast. They are ambassadors for a more equally divided cocoa chain without illegal child labor and modern slavery.

About Joshua Kissi

Joshua Kissi is a Ghanaian-American creative entrepreneur specializing in photography and creative direction, based in New York City. Raised in the Bronx, Kissi grew up with an affinity for the arts and picked up a camera at the age of seventeen. Despite the lack of exposure and inaccessibility to the creative industries, Kissi and his partner, Travis Gumbs, founded Street Etiquette in 2008, a creative agency with the hopes of producing visual content through a cultural, historical and urban lens. Street Etiquette has grown an impressive catalog of clients including Apple, Adidas, GQ, Puma and many more. In August 2017, Kissi launched his second biggest venture with business partner Karen Okonkwo; TONL– a culturally diverse stock imagery company aiming to change the narrative and current aesthetics of stock photography. Kissi has been featured as Inc Magazine’s “30 under 30” for his work with TONL and most recently selected as Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People.

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