Ynzo van Zanten on creating 100% slave free chocolate - Kathy Varol
Ynzo van Zanten
December 8, 2021   |   Episode #: 018

Ynzo van Zanten on creating 100% slave free chocolate

Show Notes:

Ynzo van Zanten is Tony Chocolonely’s ‘Choco Evangelist’, and yes, he wants to convert you. He’s here to tell the story of the Tony’s roadmap to 100% slave-free chocolate and to get every choco stakeholder on board.

Tony’s is committed to making the universe of chocolate production fair and equitable for all involved, particularly the farmers and the people working on cocoa farms in West Africa. They do incredible work to make incredible chocolate.

Ynzo combines his talents as an economist, author, entrepreneur and storyteller in his work for Tony’s (and still manages to sleep a few hours a night). Ynzo is also the convenor of the ‘Sustainable Leadership & Entrepreneurship’ program at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, and a guest lecturer at the University of Amsterdam and TU Delft. In his spare time Ynzo sits on the boards of 10.000 Hours and Plastic Whale foundations.

Find out more about Tony’s Chocolonely here.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Why a Dutch journalist filed a lawsuit against himself
  • Why Fairtrade is good, but where it doesn’t go far enough
  • The power of the default setting
  • The problem with “work-life balance”

Key takeaways:

  1. There is so much change worth fighting for. While posting allegiance to a cause or a conviction online is nice, it’s not enough. To be worthy of claiming a conviction requires a willingness to stand by it, to fight for it, even when it’s not popular. Even when it’s hard. Change happens one step at a time. Our collective choices, and collective voices, are the only thing that will change the world.
  2. Words matter. They anchor our actions and frame the way we see things. Ask yourself, what would it feel like if all Human Resources departments changed to People and Culture Departments? What would we stop doing? What would we start doing? Or, how would the world change if the norm—the default setting for an enterprise—was “social enterprises” and the fringe was “antisocial enterprises”?
  3. Let’s all start thinking and behaving like the average Dutchman that doesn’t take “no” as an answer, but instead takes it as a question mark. A challenge to create a new approach that transforms a no into a yes.


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