Tony’s Chocolonely shareholders raise extra €20 million for open chain cocoa strategy

Tony’s Chocolonely has revealed that an additional sum of €20 million raised from its shareholders will be placed towards its Open Chain sourcing strategy targeting tackling child labour in core cocoa supply chains, writes Neill Barston.

As the Dutch-founded business noted, the funds will be direct to its B2B scheme encouraging key players in the confectionery sector to participate in its ethical sourcing programme that aims to drive towards a living income for farmers in critical markets including Ivory Coast and Ghana.

According to Tony’s the extra funding is subject to regulatory approval in the Netherlands. As part of this round, a few existing shareholders will sell a small percentage of their stake. The revised shareholding percentages include Belgian investment group, Verlinvest, which will in fact see its stake in the company increase from 43% to 55.9%, as well as Jam Jar, an investment company run by Innocent drinks, whose stake goes from 4.1% to 4.9%. Notably, Genuine Chocolate, which is reducing its shareholding from 26% to 21%.

The company has continued its sourcing agreements with Barry Callebaut, paying an additional fee for segregated bean supplies, as a means of delivering a higher degree of traceability within its supply chains in West Africa.

Douglas Lamont, the Chief Chocolonely felt the investment would make a difference to its operations. He said:  “This investment will help us accelerate our progress towards our mission of ending exploitation in the cocoa industry. The funding will be used to support the rapid global growth we are delivering in both Tony’s Chocolonely, our chocolate business, and Tony’s Open Chain, our global business-to-business ethical bean trading company. I am delighted that all the funding was raised from within our existing shareholder base, who we know are all committed to supporting our long-term mission. With this new investment, with our governance structure and with our recently introduced Mission Lock we will all remain fully focused and committed to delivering on our mission to end exploitation in the cocoa industry

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