Tony’s Chocolonely backs cocoa growers in row with chocolate makers

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Ethical Dutch brand Tony’s Chocolonely backs cocoa growers in their demands for a living income to farmers. Pic: ConfectioneryNews
Ethical Dutch brand Tony’s Chocolonely backs cocoa growers in their demands for a living income to farmers. Pic: ConfectioneryNews

Related tags Cocoa Sustainability

Following our article on 14 October stating that Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire have announced that they are frustrated with the slow uptake from makers to pay a living income to its farmers, ethical Dutch chocolate brand Tony’s Chocolonely said it agrees with largest cocoa growers that chocolate makers should take responsibility.

A spokesperson for Tony’s Chocolonely said: “We praise the governments for taking their responsibility to end poverty at the farmer’s level and raise export prices with a living income differential​.

Tony’s Chocolonely already bridges the gap between the farmgateprice and the minimum living income price as of 2013 via their Tony’s premium. In addition, they just published jointly with FairTrade the Living Income Reference Price that farmer’s need to reach a living income (2,20/kg in CDI and 2,10 in Ghana).

“So the price per kg that has to be paid is clear and all chocolate organizations should build their businesses on these minimum cocoabean price levels.

“BUT only a higher price is not solving all problems and might even trigger new problems (overproduction). We need a system change.”

The company says it believes in linked pricing based on Living Income levels in an equally divided supply chain without anonimity that is organized according it’s own five sourcing principles:

1.​ pay a higher price (enabling a living income),

2.​ traceability of supply chain (full physical, social, environmental and financial transparency),

3.​ long term contracts with farmers (known business partners enabling them to invest),

4.​ improving productivity and quality (increasing the productivity per hectare to a minimum of 800kgs a year)

5.​ and investing in strong farmers (organized groups providing services to its farmer members and negotiating power).

‘The industry must raise the bar and take full responsibility over the complete supply chain, not just the price,’ it said.

Paul Schoenmakers, head of impact at Tony’s Chocolonely told ConfectioneryNews: “Putting all sustainability programs on a halt and focus only on price is not the right solution. Tony’s requests the governements to make a split in sustainability programs that do improve the outright supply chain and those which don’t.

Our own open source platform invites all chocolate makers to join forces using the above five sourcing principles as the new rules of business, because only together we’ll make 100% slave free the new norm in chocolate​.”

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