Tony’s Chocolonely and Ben & Jerry’s embark on a cocoa ‘love affair’

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Tony's and Ben & Jerry's chocolatey love in. Pic: Ben & Jerry's
Tony's and Ben & Jerry's chocolatey love in. Pic: Ben & Jerry's

Related tags Tony's Chocolonely Child labor Sustainability

The two companies, known for their passion for social justice, said they were working together because of their shared commitment to end slavery and child labour in the chocolate industry by using sustainably sourced cocoa beans.

To celebrate their romance, the two companies will launch a new line: Chocolatey Love A-Fair, a new flavour from Ben & Jerry's based on Tony's popular milk caramel sea salt bar; and Tony's Chocolate Love A-Fair, two new Tony's bars inspired by Ben & Jerry's Strawberry Cheesecake and Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream flavours.

Tony's 5 Sourcing Principles

  • Transitioning to fully traceable cocoa beans
  • Paying an additional premium for their cocoa beans, enabling farmers to earn a living income
  • Promoting strong co-operatives to professionalize and make the work of cocoa farming safe and sustainable. Collectively, this means farmers stand strong and are empowered to change structural inequity in the value chain
  • Engaging in long-term commitments giving the farmers income security and the opportunity to invest in their businesses
  • Coaching farmers to improve their cocoa productivity and quality and improve their agricultural knowledge on relevant crops

In a joint statement, the two brands said ‘it's love at first bite’ – and the launch is expected to take place in January 2023.

The cocoa beans will be sourced through Tony's Open Chain which helps companies take steps to end modern slavery and child labour in the chocolate industry.

Ben & Jerry's will also begin converting its ice cream portfolio to Tony's Open Chain, prioritizing the cocoa in the ice cream base mix.

Ben & Jerry's said it already pays farmers a Fairtrade Premium for their cocoa beans through an ongoing partnership with Fairtrade and boosts this further by paying a Living Income Differential (LID). As part of Tony's Open Chain, Ben & Jerry's will now also commit to Tony's 5 Sourcing Principles with a commitment to also paying a fee to further support the partner co-operatives in Côte d'Ivoire.

We began this journey seven years ago, when we first partnered with Fairtrade co-ops in Cote d'Ivoire, and this is the exciting next step in our cocoa journey as we amplify our commitment to farmers, equity, and ethical sourcing​," said Cheryl Pinto, Ben & Jerry's Global Head of Values-led Sourcing.

"Tony's Open Chain enables us to combine traceability with sourcing principles that naturally align to Ben & Jerry's mission and supports cocoa farmers to meet high standards on social and environmental practices while strengthening their co-operative​."

A traceable cocoa supply chain

By adopting Tony's 5 Sourcing Principles, companies take responsibility for ensuring a fully traceable cocoa supply chain and paying a higher price to address poverty, the root cause of social injustice for cocoa farmers. 

As a Mission Ally of Tony's Open Chain and by beginning their conversion to buying cocoa directly from eight partner co-operatives in Côte d'Ivoire, Ben & Jerry's will not only get to know which farmers produce the beans that go into their chocolatey ice cream, but also under which social and environmental circumstances they are grown. Full traceability and transparency of the cocoa supply chain is crucial to achieve social justice for cocoa farmers – and to enable dignified livelihoods, the company said.

Joke Aerts, Tony's Open Chain Lead for Tony's Chocolonely, said, "We are thrilled that Ben & Jerry's joins us as a Mission Ally in Tony's Open Chain. Not only will this partnership see large volumes of cocoa beans sourced via Tony's Open Chain but collaborating with one of the world's most-loved social justice companies truly puts our initiative on the map internationally and proves that our way of working is a solution for all players in the cocoa industry.

"I am confident that, together, we can make big strides towards eradicating modern slavery and child labour, stopping deforestation, and improving the livelihoods of West African cocoa farmers​."


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