The company, which produces premium Belgian chocolate bars, said that ‘Tony’s Open Chain’ includes more than 17,000 farmers (+20% YoY) that now benefit from its 5 Sourcing Principles, including receiving living income pricing for all cocoa sold via the initiative.
Tony’s also reports a record €28m (+23% YoY) rise in chocolate revenue, reaching an annual revenue of €150m. On the company’s progress, Douglas Lamont, ‘Chief Chocolonely’, said: “As an impact-led company that wants to drive change across the whole industry, we must prove that ending the exploitation of West African farming families can come in parallel with good returns for shareholders, impactful careers for employees and care for our planet.
“Our results this year demonstrate yet again that partnering with others in the cocoa supply chain and balancing the needs of all our stakeholders is both the right thing and the smart thing to do, to build a successful impact company over the long term.”
Higher farmer incomes
In 2022-23, the premiums paid upped the cocoa income earned by farmers supplying to Tony’s Open Chain in Côte d’Ivoire by 51%, according to Tony’s latest annual.
This is a direct result of both Tony’s and its Mission Allies (other brands sourcing cocoa via Tony’s Open Chain) paying the Living Income Reference Price (LIRP), which is higher than the national farmgate price and the Fairtrade price – enabling farmers to reach a living income.
Maintaining the LIRP, regardless of national cocoa prices, could be a potential game changer for farmers if adopted industry-wide, it said. Currently 17,740 farmers benefit from living income cocoa prices due to Tony’s Open Chain, 20% more than last year.
The company also said that partner co-operatives within Tony’s Open Chain showed a significantly lower prevalence of child labour at 10.5% versus the industry average of 46.7%.
“Encouragingly, Tony’s long-term partner co-ops (3+ years) have an even lower rate of 4.4%, demonstrating the ability to effectively reduce child labour if Tony’s 5 Sourcing Principles are successfully applied,” the report claimed.
Tony’s also claims that its supply chain is deforestation-free due to detailed satellite mapping and reviews that also highlighted 87% lower emissions in Ghana and 95% lower emissions in Cote d’Ivoire than most other cocoa sold in the same region. The company also confirmed it has signed up to the maximum scope 1&2 science-based emission reduction target (42% by 2030 for SMEs).
Tony’s Open Chain also welcomed six new ‘Mission Allies’, with the recent joining of HEMA and Jumbo marking the participation of most major Dutch grocery groups – resulting in a bigger share of 100% traceable cocoa that enables a living income on retailer shelves. Building on Tony’s original “slave-free” mission, the evolved statement targets all interconnected forms of exploitation in the cocoa supply chain, like ensuring a living income and combatting rampant deforestation, whilst acting as a rallying cry to build an industry-wide change coalition.
Record revenue growth
Tony’s Chocolonely is also celebrating record absolute net revenue growth of +€28m (+23%) with annual net revenue to €150.2m. Key growth contributors included a successful launch into the chocolate snacking market with Tony’s Lil’ Bits and particularly strong revenue growth in the UK, the USA and Germany.
As Tony’s Chocolonely continues to invest ahead of the curve (reflected in an EBIT of -€2.7m) to bolster its growth momentum across multiple markets, it reported it has strengthened its balance sheet through a €20m investment from existing shareholders in June 2023.