Chocolate maker Tony’s Chocolonely, established to make chocolate 100 percent slave free, is going to cooperate with software provider ChainPoint, located in Arnhem. The “Beantracker” system gives an insight into the whole supply chain of Tony’s Chocolonely, from farmer till chocolate bar. The software allows for the location and quantity of the purchased cocoa beans to be determined in real time, all with the goal of eradicating slavery and child labour in the cocoa industry. The “Beantracker” is based on the ChainPoint platform and collects traceability data alongside other sustainability indicators that help to initiate a continuous improvement process.
The unique thing about the collaboration is that once the platform is ready, it is also available to other parties in the cocoa industry. The authorization capabilities of ChainPoint can enable collaboration between competitors within the platform. Tony’s Chocolonely wants to change the cocoa industry, which will only succeed if we will work together. If competitors work together pre-competitively, it is possible to eradicate slavery and child labour throughout the cocoa industry.
According to research from Tulane University in 2015, there are more than 2 million children in Ivory Coast and Ghana exposed to hazardous work and illegal child labour on cocoa farms. The sector has an insufficient grip on the chains to effectively eliminate child labour. Tony’s Chocolonely believes that taking responsibility in the industry begins with traceability and transparency. Therefore, they work directly with farmer cooperatives in West Africa. Cocoa beans are directly purchased from the partner cooperatives, for which a higher price is paid. Tony’s Chocolonely invests in long-term relationships, strengthening farmer organizations and working actively with them to increase quality and productivity. This way cocoa farmers can earn a sustainable living and it will put a stop to slavery and child labour.
“The cocoa industry is on the verge of an unprecedented transformation where traceability is crucial,” says Frans Pannekoek. Pannekoek, also known as ‘bean to bartender’, is responsible for the supply chain of Tony’s Chocolonely. “The realization that everyone must take their responsibility is increasing alongside the understanding that traceability is key. I see Tony’s chain not just as one chain (of goods) but as three chains. All three chains are important (the flow of goods, the flow of information and the flow of funds). Traceability – the information chain – from bean to bar makes it possible to direct the chain, to let parties work together better, to work more transparently, telling consumers about the chain and letting every actor take their responsibility. Thus, it is very important for chocolate manufacturers to make the whole chain transparent and to direct it as a whole, improving the sustainability along with the actors, from the farmers to the chocolate bar. Anonymity must be eliminated from the chain. Traceability leads to taking responsibility for social and environmental conditions and encourages collaboration. Hence, the new platform will be open to other chocolate manufacturers to make chocolate mainstream, sustainable and especially slave-free.”
Tony’s Chocolonely wants to make chocolate 100 percent slave-free – not only their own chocolate, but all chocolate worldwide. Tony’s is, therefore, no ordinary company, but a chocolate company that wants to solve a social problem in the world. Tony’s Chocolonely was founded in 2005 by inspection journalists when they found out that the biggest chocolate companies in the world processed cocoa in plantations with child slaves. Since then, The Amsterdam social enterprise has become the second largest chocolate brand in the Netherlands. Tony´s Chocolonely wants to make people aware of the disparity in the chocolate industry with the proposition that making chocolate can change, and thus inspire, the chocolate industry to make chocolate 100 percent slave free as standard.