Tony’s Chocolonely was founded by Teun van de Keuken, a Dutch journalist who launched a crusade against child slavery in the chocolate industry. After being ignored by the industry’s large chocolate makers, he decided to lead by example and make 5,000 Fairtrade chocolate bars himself, thus creating his brand.
As for the name: Tony is the English equivalent of Teun, and because he felt as if he was the only person in the chocolate industry who cared about eradicating slavery, he named his chocolate ‘Chocolonely’.
Tony’s mission is to make all chocolate 100% slave-free. In Ghana and the Ivory Coast, 1.56 million children work under illegal conditions and 30,000 people are victims of modern slavery. Therefore, the company chooses to work in these countries, making a positive impact where the worst problems are.
The cocoa beans in Tony’s chocolate are fully traceable, and the company pays its cocoa farmers an extra ‘Tony’s premium’ on top of the Fairtrade supplement. Tony’s further empowers farmers by investing in agricultural knowledge and training to help them improve productivity on their farms. The company calls for all players in the supply chain, whether farmers, governments, chocolate producers, retailers or chocolate lovers, to play their part.
Tony’s implements the Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS) developed by the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) and Nestlé, to monitor the risk of illegal child labour at its partner cooperatives. Together, they also gather social data to ascertain whether, where and why child labour is being used and work to find permanent solutions.
Tony’s Impact Team regularly travels to Ghana and Ivory Coast to visit the partner cooperatives and attend the annual meetings.