Why we chose to stock Tony's Chocolonely
We chose to stock Tony's Chocolonely for a number of reasons:
We love the product and the brand... it not only looks great but tastes divine! Lets face it, Belgium know how to make chocolate and this one is Fairtrade and B-Corp certified. The packaging is bold, creative and completely plastic free!
We love their story and their mission......to make 100% slave-free chocolate the norm from bean to the consumer. The chocolate itself is purposely unequally divided, physically manifesting the inequality within the chocolate trade.
I have been enjoying chocolate for most of my life... lots of it! I would even say I'm a bit of a chocaholic and my waistline has never thanked me for it! A couple of years ago I stopped buying popular high street brands of chocolate - primarily because I had started my plastic free journey, and their packaging can't be recycled, but also because my daughter didn't want me to buy products with palm oil in (don't get me started on that global issue!).
I recently discovered Tony's Chocolonely - plastic-free wrappers AND palm oil free... you can imagine my delight! With its distinctive bright packaging - it was literally screaming BUY ME... so I did.
However, I got more than I bargained for. You open up the bar of chocolate and there's a world of information on their fight to stop child slave labour. All those years of enjoying my chocolate and I was blissfully unaware of the current corrupt supply chain of the cocoa beans. The chain starts with millions of farmers who produce cocoa and ends with the billions of consumers, like me and you, who enjoy the chocolate. But the bit in the middle is dominated by a handful of chocolate giants, some of which profit from keeping the price of cocoa as low as possible. As a result, many farmers are forced to live in poverty, leading to illegal child labour and modern slavery. I was horrified!
In 2005, a group of Dutch investigative journalists brought the issue of child slavery in the cocoa industry to the forefront. In their investigation, they found that none of the major chocolate manufacturers who signed the Cocoa Protocol were keeping their promises, and forced child labour continued throughout production lines. They started lobbying manufacturers to change their ways, and Teun (the founder of Tony's) became an activist for the cause - he even handed himself in to the Dutch courts as a ‘chocolate criminal’ to emphasise the corruption from both consumer and producer perspectives.
To raise awareness, Teun started manufacturing his own chocolate bars and this was the start of Tony’s. He called it Tony’s Chocolonely for ‘Teun’ (which no one outside the Netherlands could pronounce!), and ‘Chocolonely’, to represent his lonely battle to make ethical, slave-free chocolate.
Tony's fight to raise awareness is working... and we want to be part of this and support this fight... that is why we chose to stock Tony's Chocolonely (and because it is really good chocolate - a truly guiltless pleasure!).