By enabling more ‘Mission Allies’ to join Tony’s Open Chain, the Dutch ethical brand hopes it will accelerate system change across the industry – creating more impact for cocoa farmers in West Africa.
Tony's Open Chain is described as ‘a results-driven, future-proof initiative that is laser-focused on cocoa and produces measurable impact via a proven model’.
Pascal Baltussen, Chief of Impact and Operations at Tony’s Chocolonely, said: “The partnership with Baronie & Cémoi sends an important signal to the industry as it will spark more brands to join us in changing the sustainability norm in cocoa. Tony’s Open Chain enables brands to address the industry’s most pressing issues – child labour, poverty and deforestation – together we can accelerate system change.”
Tony’s Open Chain works primarily in West Africa to drive impact together with partner cooperatives. At the same time, Tony’s Open Chain works to create an enabling environment for brands to join their initiative. Mission Allies that have already committed to sourcing cocoa via Tony's Open Chain are Albert Heijn, ALDI, Jokolade, Vly Foods, The Flower Farm, PLUS, KoRo Source and Ben & Jerry's.
As a new chocolate processor for Tony’s Open Chain, Baronie & Cémoi will continue to invest in a fully segregated cocoa supply chain, in order to be able to handle and process the segregated Tony’s Open Chain cocoa beans, cocoa mass and cocoa butter. As a ‘chain connector’, it is linking its cocoa production facility in Côte d'Ivoire and its cocoa-processing facility in Bourbourg (France) to Tony's Open Chain, in order to produce Tony’s Open Chain liquid chocolate for Mission Allies.
Jean-Marie van Logtestijn, a member of the Board of Sweet Products NV, said: “We are continuously driven by our commitments and empowered by our ambition to further expand our role as partners in chocolate. By becoming a processor for Tony’s Open Chain, our presence and expertise in the world’s leading cocoa origin and our production facilities will enable & support the Mission Allies in their growth”.
'100% slavery-free chocolate the norm’
Tony’s Chocolonely’s stated mission is to make ‘100% slavery-free chocolate the norm’ and claims that ‘currently, there is an unfair distribution of value and power in the chocolate industry that drives cocoa farmers into poverty – resulting in illegal labour and exploitation. Tony’s Open Chain seeks to change this by inviting other chocolate manufacturers and cocoa-using brands to become Mission Allies and change the norm in the industry’.
By joining Tony’s Open Chain, Mission Allies commit to traceability, paying the living income reference price for cocoa and building long-term partnerships with partner cooperatives to support farmers and develop thriving cocoa communities. As a collaborative initiative, Mission Allies compete on chocolate but collaborate on cocoa. Together, they change the norm in the cocoa industry.
Tony’s Chocolonely also said it will continue its partnership with Barry Callebaut as the producer for Tony’s chocolate, where the flow of beans has been traceable and segregated since 2012 and traceable butter was introduced in 2016.