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Strategic partnership sets new industry standard for sourcing cocoa

Barry Callebaut

ZURICH, Swizerland — 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. The three parties unveiled the news of their partnership today at the Tony’s FAIR, Tony’s Chocolonely’s annual meeting in Amsterdam.