Ethical chocolate producer Tony’s Chocolonely has been removed from a list of slave-free producers. The collaboration with Barry Callebaut is the reason for the removal.
“Tony’s perpetuates injustices”
Tony’s Chocolonely has its cocoa beans processed by the Swiss chocolate giant. That company, also the largest chocolate manufacturer worldwide, admits that its chocolate is not always 100 per cent ‘pure’, but is striving to ban all illegal labour from the production chain by 2025. Barry Callebaut publishes the progress it is making in this respect annually in its Forever Chocolate Plan.
However, for Slave Free Chocolate the partnership is enough to remove Tony’s Chocolonely from its list. Although all Tony’s cocoa beans are perfectly traceable to individual farmers, and the Dutch company watches over the working conditions, Slave Free Chocolate argues that the chocolate maker contributes to the perpetuation of slave and child labour through its partnership with Barry Callebaut.
In a reaction, Tony’s Chocolonely says that cooperating with the giant must prove that its model is applicable on a larger scale. The idea is that 100 per cent slave-free chocolate could only be achieved if the entire industry joins.
“We want to avoid our model being brushed aside as something only a niche player can do,” Paul Schoenmakers, head of ‘impact’ at Tony’s Chocolonely tells Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant. “We work with the same kinds of parties in the chain that many larger chocolate producers work with: domestic traders, governments on the Ivory Coast and in Ghana, international transporters. And we are showing: even within such a complex chain, you can have 100 per cent traceability. Our model is scalable.”