Transforming the cocoa industry: stop child slavery

Child labour, child slavery and trafficking are unfortunately endemic in many industries. One such industry is the cocoa industry where an estimated 2m children are working on cocoa plantations in Africa, often conducting hazardous and forced labour in terrible conditions.

To stop child slavery in the cocoa industry, true market transformation is needed with all stakeholders involved. That is why in 2005 Tony’s Chocolonely was founded with exactly that mission. Tony’s Chocolonely does not source cocoa beans mass-balance, but chooses to work with a number of dedicated farming cooperatives in Ghana and Ivory Coast.

By working closely together with the farmer coops and applying Tony’s five sourcing principles, Tony’s Chocolonely is convinced that this holds the key to ending child slavery.

The five sourcing principles are:

  1. Paying a Premium (Fairtrade + Tony’s premium);
  2. Engaging in long-term relationships;
  3. Strong cooperations;
  4. Continuous improvement in production and quality;
  5. “Bean to bar” traceability.
Stop child slavery in the cocoa industry - ChainPoint

Farmers who deliver cocoa via the cooperations to Tony’s Chocolonely see their livelihood improved and are trained in better agricultural practices.

Using technology to stop child slavery

Technology plays an important role in managing supply chains across the world. In the case of Tony’s Chocolonely, the requirement is to have a fully transparent “bean to bar” supply chain, knowing the origin, the flow and the quantities of the beans – in others words the “bean whereabouts”. ChainPoint was commissioned by Tony’s Chocolonely to develop the BeanTracker platform which realises data collection from the farmer coop down until production. Farmer coops, and all supply chain actors from bean to bar, are connected to the platform, entering data on a weekly basis in the BeanTracker platform.

Tony's Chocolonely wants to stop child slavery in the cocoa industry - ChainPoint

Improving issues in international supply chains

The BeanTracker platform, configured according to Tony’s Chocolonely’s needs, is built on ChainPoint technology. The following functions are used in the BeanTracker platform:

  • Data collection along the cocoa supply chains
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Traceability, from farmer coop to producer
  • Inventory management, including registration of waste and loss
  • Multitenancy, multi language and advanced authorisation

Tony’s five sustainable sourcing principles:

Paying a Premium (Fairtrade + Tony’s premium)

Engaging in long-term relationships

Strong cooperations

Continuous improvement in production and quality

Traceability from ‘bean-to-bar’

Crazy about chocolate, serious about people

Tony’s Chocolonely was founded in 2005 by Teun van der Keuken (Tony), a Dutch journalist exploring the issue of child labour in the cocoa industry. He wanted to see the results of the Harkin Engel protocol, which was signed in 2001, and was shocked to find that child labour was still endemic in the cocoa industry. To create true market transformation he decided to start his own chocolate company, which has resulted today in a chocolate brand which is dedicated to realising a 100% slave free chocolate industry. More information on Tony’s Chocolonely:

Tony's Chocolonely: make chocolate slave free - ChainPoint