Tony’s Chocolonely has urged companies involved in a joint statement urgently requesting human rights and environmental due diligence requirements to be imposed by European Union to sign its petition to urge EU and USA governments for similar regulations.
Paul Schoenmakers, head of impact at the ethical Dutch chocolate brand says: “Companies should not wait for regulation to be in place. After two decades of voluntary programs and pilots, it is quite well known what needs to be done. Since 2011, the obligation to take responsibility has applied to companies: actively seek human rights violations in your full supply chains and resolve them. Companies have to take 100% responsibility for their supply chains, now!”
He says Tony’s Chocolonely looks forward to collaborating with Mars Wrigley, Barry Callebaut, Mondelēz International, VOICE, Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade to eradicate modern slavery and illegal child labour in the cocoa sector.
“The company shares its knowledge, models and tools via tonysopenchain.com, and invites all companies to adopt the five sourcing principles ending the system-enabled poverty at the beginning of the supply chain,” he said.
Last month, Tony’s Chocolonely launched its own petition at its annual Fair to urge companies to take 100% responsibility for their supply chains, which has already received over 1,500 signatures.
The company believes collaboration of all stakeholders is key in order to achieve ‘a 100% slave-free norm in the chocolate industry’ and therefore endorses the initiative – but Schoenmakers stresses the time to act is “now”.