Tony’s Chocolonely welcomes Baronie & Cémoi as Open Chain partners

Dutch-based confectionery impact brand Tony’s Chocolonely has marked another milestone in signing an agreement with Baronie & Cémoi to extend its Open Chain cocoa sourcing initiative, reports Neill Barston.

As the company notes, through joining in its mission, which involves committing to traceability and paying a higher price for cocoa and building long term partnerships, businesses are actively engaged in improving conditions within key supply chains.

To date, the Open Chain has attracted a number of businesses within the sector to its cause, which is a core part of driving towards a ‘slave free’ chocolate industry. Among its partners are  Albert Heijn, ALDI, Jokolade, Vly Foods, The Flower Farm, PLUS, KoRo Source and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, with the latter joining its ranks recently.

The latest addition to the initiative, Baronie & Cémoi, which has a chocolate manufacturing facilities across Europe, will see the business become a processing partner – with Baronie – which has more than a century of a experience in the sector, having acquired the renowned French-based premium chocolate brand Cemoi in 2021.

As Tony’s Chocolonely added, by offering multiple chocolate processing options to choose from, Tony’s Open Chain believed that this move will provide a more enabling environment for Mission Allies to join the initiative, to drive impact on the ground with the business.

Enabling more Mission Allies to join Tony’s Open Chain will accelerate system-change across the industry – creating more impact for cocoa farmers in West Africa. Tony’s Open Chain is a results-driven, future-proof initiative that is laser-focused on cocoa and produces measurable impact via a proven model.

As Tony’s Chocolonely noted, in its view there is an ‘unfair distribution of value and power in the chocolate industry that drives cocoa farmers into poverty’  – which it has acknowledged has driven illegal labor and exploitation within the sector. It has attempted to address this alongside other chocolate manufacturers and cocoa-using brands to become Mission Allies and change the norm in the industry.

Chief of Impact and Operations at Tony’s Chocolonely, Pascal Baltussen, who played a strong role in our World Confectionery Conference last year, welcomed the news. He said: “The partnership with Baronie & Cémoi sends an important signal to the industry as it will spark more brands to join us in changing the sustainability norm in cocoa. Tony’s Open Chain enables brands to address the industry’s most pressing issues – child labor, poverty and deforestation – together we can accelerate system-change”.



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