A step towards 100% slave-free chocolate - Kathy Varol

A step towards 100% slave-free chocolate

modern slavery

Do you like chocolate? Do you like ice cream? Do you like it when companies commit to change that helps break cycles of poverty and prevents child labor?

Then I have good news for you.

Ben & Jerry’s will begin sourcing their cocoa through Tony’s Open Chain, an initiative designed by Tony’s Chocolonely to give chocolatiers full insight into the conditions of where their cocoa beans are grown.

Why is this important?

More than 1.5 million children are working in the chocolate industry in Ivory Coast and Ghana, where more than half of the world’s cocoa beans are grown.

Why does child labor happen in the chocolate industry?

Chocolate is big business, but cocoa farmers are not the ones who get rich. Low price for cocoa keep many farmers in poverty, increasing the prevalence of modern slavery and adding to the rates of child labor.

Tony’s Chocolonely developed their Open Chain to stop modern slavery in the chocolate industry.Open Chain follows 5 Sourcing Principles:

  1. buying only 100% traceable cocoa beans

  2. paying a premium on top of market rates and existing Fairtrade premiums

  3. buying only from cooperatives to foster stronger farmer communities

  4. offering multi-year purchasing contracts

  5. sharing agricultural know-how and skillsets

Then Tony’s made their in-house system for cleaning up the supply chain open and accessible to other companies. One company can’t buy enough cocoa beans to change an entire industry, but maybe a dozen companies can begin to tip the scales to eliminate child and slave-labor (if you’re in the industry…get on board!).

Ben & Jerry’s is an impressive addition to the Open Chain movement (👏👏👏👏).

Next time you have a chocolate or ice cream craving, remember that your purchases are an investment in the future. Your dollars are a vote. Consider shopping your values with Tony’s Chocolonely and Ben & Jerry’s.

Click here to learn more about Tony’s Open Chain.

And you can listen to the Purpose and Profit episode with Tony’s ‘Choco Evangelist’ Ynzo van Zanten on the company’s journey to create 100% slave-free chocolate here.

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