Tony’s Chocolonely extends US distribution with key online listing
Dutch-founded ethical chocolate business Tony’s Chocolonely has moved to expand its distribution in the US with a major listing via Target.com nationwide, in addition to selected retailers around the country, writes Neill Barston.
The brand’s expansion follows a recent partnership with Pharrell Williams (pictured appearing at the company’s recent online fair), and his organisation Black Ambition, as well as firm’s release of its Sweet Solution bars, renewing calls for tackling child labour within supply chains.
Since founding in 2005, Tony’s has pursued a policy of raising awareness of inequality within the chocolate industry, through paying more for its bean sourcing, and working on underlying causes of labour, which has come increasingly under a global spotlight.
In a recent interview with Confectionery Production, the company responded to concerns relating to its founding mission to deliver ‘slave free chocolate’ in relation to decisions to source its cocoa in within core producers Ghana and Ivory Coast, where a recent NORC at the University of Chicago concluded that 1.56 million children are still exposed to child labour.
As previously reported, the business said that its decision to work in the two West African nations with major corporation Barry Callebaut since 2005, was to ‘show that it is possible to be fully traceable while working with a large processor,’ and that encouraging the entire industry to deliver on eradicating child labour was at the heart of its founding mission.
In a statement the company said: “From the start, Barry Callebaut has believed in our mission and collaborated with us to set up fully segregated processing for our 100% traceable beans so they are never mixed with other beans. Working with Barry Callebaut allows us to further scale up our production and enables us to grow Tony’s Open Chain by processing the 100% traceable cocoa beans from our mission allies, too,” it said of its policy with Barry Callebaut, which has itself undertaken a number of initiatives to tackle the issue including its Forever Chocolate scheme, aiming to assist in lifting 500,000 farmers out of poverty by 2025 – which remains a core issue related to child labour.