Pleese and Huel are the latest companies (and the first from the UK) to partner with Tony’s Open Chain - the collaborative initiative started by Tony’s Chocolonely, which provides access to the necessary knowledge and tools to eliminate child labour and modern slavery in the cocoa supply chain.
Leading cheesecake brand Pleese’s (previously known as Pleesecakes) products are in development and cocoa sourcing for these products will be done according to Tony’s 5 Sourcing Principles – a way of sourcing that addresses the complex issue of poverty in cocoa through concrete solutions. The company entered the UK retail market in March 2023, securing nationwide listings in Waitrose and Co-op.
A spokesperson for Tony’s Chocolonely said it is also delighted that Huel has quickly followed Pleese as the second-ever UK Mission Ally. Huel is the brand on a mission to make nutritionally complete, convenient, affordable food. All the cocoa in Huel’s range will be sourced according to Tony’s Open Chain 5 sourcing principles and we estimate that in one year this will mean an additional 300 metric tonnes of cocoa sourced according to Tony’s 5 Sourcing Principles from Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, and many more cocoa farmers enabled to earn a living income.
Both companies will join global brands such as ALDI and Ben & Jerry’s, which have committed to sourcing cocoa via Tony’s Open Chain since 2020 and 2022, respectively.
Joe Moruzzi, Founder of Pleese, said: “Tony’s Open Chain is an initiative I feel very passionate about and even though we are a small business, the more of us who join, the sooner we will make all chocolate 100% slave-free. We’re currently in development stages to expand our product line and by becoming the first Mission Ally in the UK, we are committed to increasing system change across the industry.”
By joining Tony’s Open Chain, both Pleese and Huel commit to Tony’s Open Chain 5 Sourcing Principles including: sourcing fully traceable cocoa beans; paying a higher price for cocoa to enable a living income for farmers; building long-term relationships to boost farmers’ income security; promoting strong partner cooperatives to professionalize cocoa farming; and increasing cocoa productivity and quality.
Jessica Sansom, Sustainability Director, Huel, said: “Huel is super excited to be joining Tony's Open Chain. We strongly believe that it is possible to create a sustainable food system, and Tony's mission and work in West Africa is proving what is possible. The 5 sourcing principles are holistic, the approach is collaborative, and the results speak for themselves. We are looking forward to working alongside other Mission Allies, and calling upon other brands to join Open Chain and make a difference.”
Tony's Open Chain Lead at Tony’s Chocolonely, Joke Aerts, commented: “We are absolutely thrilled to welcome our first UK Mission Ally, Pleese, and our second UK Mission Ally, Huel, to Tony's Open Chain. They join a network of brands committed to changing the norm in the cocoa industry, by committing long-term to paying a price that enables a living income for cocoa farmers. They join an unstoppable movement to close the gap to a living income for cocoa farmers.”
Tony’s Open Chain was launched in 2019. The company said the more Mission Allies that join Tony’s Open Chain means accelerated change within the chocolate industry