Idris Elba joins Tony’s Chocolonely for video raising awareness on global cocoa inequality

The Amsterdam-based ethical chocolate brand Tony’s Chocolonely, has launched its first video to raise awareness of its fight against systematic inequality and exploitation in the chocolate industry, narrated by Idris Elba, reports Neill Barston

As the company explained to Confectionery Production, its film, directed by Helmi, focuses on the concept of fair versus unfair in a dynamic world of colour and pop cultural references.

In the video, Golden Globe nominated actor Elba, who has starred in a host of Hollywood movies including Avengers, Star Trek Beyond, American Gangster, and Mandella, The Long Walk to Freedom, explains that the present situation with two million children in child labour across Ghana and Ivory Coast alone, cannot be allowed to continue.

The film’s release comes amid a wider global response from a number of major businesses around the world on broader equality policies, which has seen confectionery groups such as Mars re-evaluating their operations to be more inclusive and diverse with their recruitment. It follows the emergence of the global Black Lives Matter movement, which has highlighted inequality in society.

Speaking about the launch of the film, Tony’s head of marketing, Thecla Schaeffer, explains: “Our new brand video states our position about the issues in the cocoa industry in a globally appealing and emotional way. We have a serious message to share, and we are always looking for creative ways to get our message across.”

The film explains Tony’s mission to end exploitation of cocoa farmers, juxtaposing the fairness we take for granted in Western culture with the inequality in West Africa’s cocoa supply chains, where there are over 30,000 cases of modern slavery and over 2 million cases of illegal child labour.

“Being an Englishman who is the son of a Ghanaian mother and a Sierra Leonian father, I am all too aware of the shocking inequalities between the West and Africa,” stated narrator Idris Elba, who is himself active as an ambassador for the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development. “It’s an honour for me to voice Tony’s powerful manifesto against exploitation and I see this collaboration as a first step to doing more impactful work together.”

The video ends on an upbeat note, with the full cast coming together: a metaphor for the energy, dynamism, opportunity and potential in Africa. Chocolate can be a powerful force of change, and every chocolate fan can be part of the solution by making conscious choices. The message is clear. The invitation is open. It’s time to raise the bar. All chocolate should be made without modern slavery and illegal child labour. The company has started a petition on the issue which can be seen here:

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