Tony’s Chocolonely’s new ‘Sweet Solution’ range was dropped by Sainsbury’s, a leading UK supermarket, after it faced pressure from rival suppliers, the Dutch chocolatier has alleged.
The controversial quartet identifies KitKat, Twix, Toblerone and Ferrero Rocher in similar pack designs and formulations, but are created in Tony’s own highly distinctive slab shape.
A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s declined to “comment on individual suppliers”, while Nestle also declined to comment further on the matter, along with the other manufactures.
Tony’s Sweet Solution range was due to launch exclusively in Sainsbury’s on Monday (25 January) as a limited-edition offer.
Paul Schoenmakers, Head of Impact at Tony’s Chocolonely, said: “We may have to stop selling the bars, but we’ll never stop campaigning until we make chocolate 100% slave free. Not just our chocolate, but all chocolate worldwide.”
A Ferrero spokesperson said: “We source 100% sustainable cocoa, and our cocoa beans are 100% traceable to farms. This means we know exactly where our cocoa comes from and can identify and address issues in a very targeted manner. In addition, we support our farmers with our cocoa sustainability program to improve their livelihoods and to protect children and communities.
“We do not tolerate child labour and we are determined to prevent and eliminate this issue across our supply chains. However, child labour in cocoa growing communities remains a shared challenge for the industry, that no one is exempt from and no one entity can solve alone.
“We actively collaborate and have been long-time members of the World Cocoa Foundation, the International Cocoa Initiative, and the Cocoa & Forest Initiative.
“We partner with farmer groups and NGOs on the ground, including Save the Children, to drive meaningful change. In addition, our certified farmer groups are audited by independent third parties and we monitor via the Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation Systems (CLMRS), a well-proven method developed by the International Cocoa Initiative to effectively tackle child labour.
“We remain determined to work in collaboration with industry partners and leading NGOs to be a key part of the solution and drive meaningful change on this shared agenda of tackling child labour. We, as Ferrero, will continue to provide updates on our progress made.”
In an earlier comment from Nestle, it said: “We became the first confectionery company to introduce a comprehensive Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation system which has had a significant impact since 2012 and, today, Nestlé is investing more than ever to help improve the lives of cocoa farmers through the Nestlé Cocoa Plan. We are working with Tony’s Chocolonely on this shared agenda and we will stand with anyone who seeks to eliminate child labour from cocoa.”