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frequently asked questions

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most faq's

Why are your bars unequally divided?

To us it doesn't make sense for chocolate bars to be divided into chunks of equal sizes when there is so much inequality in the chocolate industry! The unevenly sized chunks of our 180g bars are a palatable way of reminding our choco friends that the profits in the chocolate industry are shared unevenly.

And in case you haven't noticed, the bottom of our bars represents the Equator. The chunks above are the Gulf of Guinea. Then from left to right you have Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo and Benin (terribly politically incorrect, we know, but we had to combine them to create enough space for a hazelnut), Nigeria and part of Cameroon.

How did Tony's come to be?

Eleven years ago while investigating slavery in the cocoa supply chain for 'Keuringsdienst van Waarde' (a Dutch television program that features critical investigative journalism), journalist Teun van de Keuken is shocked to discover that much of the chocolate sold in supermarkets is made by people working as slaves. And this often includes children. He finds this totally unacceptable. When he tries to discuss the situation with chocolate makers, many decline. So he decides to do something about it. The first Fairtrade Tony's Chocolonely bars roll off the production line in November 2005. In 2006 Teun registers his company with the Chamber of Commerce and Tony's Chocolonely embarks on its mission to eliminate slavery from the chocolate industry.

play!

Who’s Tony??

Tony's is named after journalist Teun van de Keuken. From 2002 to 2007 he investigated slavery in the chocolate industry for 'Keuringsdienst van Waarde' (a Dutch television program that features critical investigative journalism). He discovered that cocoa farmers in West Africa, and their children, were actually working as slaves. He tried to discuss this with several chocolate companies. When they declined, Teun decided to make his own slave free chocolate bars. He felt very lonely in his battle against slavery in the chocolate industry, so he called his company 'Tony's Chocolonely'.

Do you have a sugar-free bar or one with a sugar substitute?

At the moment we don't have any plans to produce a sugar-free Tony's bar or to produce one with a sugar substitute. Our mission is 100% slave free chocolate. To achieve it, we have to make the most amazing ethically produced chocolate, so we can help cocoa farmers create a better future for themselves and inspire other chocolate makers to follow our example. In other words, we want to change the mainstream chocolate industry. Sugar-free bars are still too much of a niche product. Producing one won't help the cocoa farmers. But this may not always be the case. We do our best to always be one step ahead.

General

Why did you change ‘on the way to 100% slave free’ to ‘together..’?

Our vision is 100% slave free chocolate. Not just our chocolate, but all chocolate worldwide. We've been on the way to slave free chocolate for 11 years. We've been supported, encouraged, challenged and consumed. One of the main things we've learnt along the way is how difficult it is to change an industry. After 11 years we're not there yet. Our chocolate still isn't 100% slave free and slave free chocolate is far from the norm. We can't do it alone. So at this point we're also emphasising the need to mobilise an army of friends who want to join us. We're actively seeking partners who apply our model. Alone we make slave free chocolate, together we make all chocolate 100% slave free.

Why is your chocolate Fairtrade?

When Tony's began, Max Havelaar (that's Fairtrade Netherlands) was the only organisation seeking to promote fair trade and better living conditions for cocoa farmers. To qualify for Fairtrade certification, production conditions must meet certain minimum social and environmental standards. Also, as a certification system, Fairtrade is most closely aligned with our mission, because it guarantees a minimum price and works with cooperatives. Having said this, as far as we're concerned, certification is simply a starting point: the first step on the way to a fair supply chain. We believe it's possible to do more. That's why we developed our 5 Principles of Cooperation.

What about all the other certification systems?

There are all kinds of labels on chocolate packaging. This is because there are several certification systems that operate under different names. There’s Fairtrade, UTZ Certified and Rainforest Alliance. All three work in more or less the same way. None of them allow illegal child labour and all insist on farming practices that respect the environment. They differ mainly in terms of their vision and history. Fairtrade believes that farmers are stronger when they join forces. So Fairtrade farmers must be part of a cooperative. And the cooperative receives a fixed premium in addition to the farm gate price, because Fairtrade guarantees a good price. Rainforest Alliance works with independent farmers and places more emphasis on conservation of the environment. UTZ also works with independent farmers and focuses more specifically on promoting professionalisation and increasing productivity. Yet despite these different approaches, the certification requirements are very similar. All three systems address social factors (including child and forced labour) and economic and environmental development. As far as we're concerned, certification is simply a starting point. We believe it's necessary to do far more to create a fair supply chain. That's why we developed our 5 Principles of Cooperation.

Do you also consider the environment?

Of course! We expect farmers to treat the environment with respect. And we actively encourage the farmers who supply our beans to implement more environmentally friendly production methods. The cooperatives we work with receive training. This helps minimise the use of pesticides and ensures appropriate and economical use of chemical fertiliser. Deforestation is strictly prohibited. Climate change is an increasingly important issue for Tony's, particularly since cocoa farmers are directly affected. Drought and extreme heat increase the likelihood of failed harvests and affect the quality of the cocoa beans. Yet this is a trend that is expected to increase. At the moment, we offset our emissions through Justdiggit. We'll also be taking steps to reduce our emissions over the next few years. Ultimately, we want to ensure that whenever someone eats a bar of Tony's they're making a positive contribution to the environment.

In 2012, we also changed the wrappers on our bars. We now use uncoated, recycled FSC-certified paper. What?! Believe us, it's better for the environment. It means the wrappers on our bars are not coated with porcelain or kaolin. The paper is made from a mixture of recycled and FSC-certified paper. So, in a past life, the wrapper on your bar might have been the label on a jar of peanut butter or a box of chocolate! FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council. Sounds impressive, doesn't it? And it is. It means the paper originates from sustainably managed forests. The foil we use contains as much recycled material as possible and we've also made it as thin as possible.

Why are your bars unequally divided?

To us it doesn't make sense for chocolate bars to be divided into chunks of equal sizes when there is so much inequality in the chocolate industry! The unevenly sized chunks of our 180g bars are a palatable way of reminding our choco friends that the profits in the chocolate industry are shared unevenly.

And in case you haven't noticed, the bottom of our bars represents the Equator. The chunks above are the Gulf of Guinea. Then from left to right you have Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo and Benin (terribly politically incorrect, we know, but we had to combine them to create enough space for a hazelnut), Nigeria and part of Cameroon.

History

How did Tony's come to be?

Eleven years ago while investigating slavery in the cocoa supply chain for 'Keuringsdienst van Waarde' (a Dutch television program that features critical investigative journalism), journalist Teun van de Keuken is shocked to discover that much of the chocolate sold in supermarkets is made by people working as slaves. And this often includes children. He finds this totally unacceptable. When he tries to discuss the situation with chocolate makers, many decline. So he decides to do something about it. The first Fairtrade Tony's Chocolonely bars roll off the production line in November 2005. In 2006 Teun registers his company with the Chamber of Commerce and Tony's Chocolonely embarks on its mission to eliminate slavery from the chocolate industry.

play!

Who’s Tony??

Tony's is named after journalist Teun van de Keuken. From 2002 to 2007 he investigated slavery in the chocolate industry for 'Keuringsdienst van Waarde' (a Dutch television program that features critical investigative journalism). He discovered that cocoa farmers in West Africa, and their children, were actually working as slaves. He tried to discuss this with several chocolate companies. When they declined, Teun decided to make his own slave free chocolate bars. He felt very lonely in his battle against slavery in the chocolate industry, so he called his company 'Tony's Chocolonely'.

Ingredients

Where does your cocoa come from?

In 2012 we started buying our cocoa mass directly from cocoa farmers in West Africa. We're now working with 6 cocoa cooperatives: 2 in Ghana (ABOCFA and Suhum Union) and 4 in Ivory Coast (Kapatchiva, ECAM, ECOJAD and SOCOOPACDI). All of these cooperatives benefit from our 5 Principles of CooperationOur long-term relationship with these cooperatives means that we know them well and can assist them with their (financial) management. The farmers know they can sell us their cocoa for a good price for the foreseeable future, allowing them to invest in their farms and maximise their crop. And you know that our bars will always taste as good.

Is your chocolate also organic?

We buy some of our beans from ABOCFA in Ghana, which is the first certified organic cooperative in West Africa. But we know that organic farming doesn't necessarily deliver a better income for farmers in West Africa. Organic farming is a skill. To be good at it, farmers have to be professional. They have to have a great deal of knowledge and they also have to be able to invest in their farms. This is far from the reality for most cocoa farmers. We support several organic initiatives, such as ABOCFA, but unfortunately it seems that organic farming does not guarantee a positive social impact. So for the moment we're not seeking to make our entire supply chain organic. That's why it doesn't say 'organic' on our wrappers. For us, social impact comes first. At the same time, we do what we can to protect the environment.

Do you have a sugar-free bar or one with a sugar substitute?

At the moment we don't have any plans to produce a sugar-free Tony's bar or to produce one with a sugar substitute. Our mission is 100% slave free chocolate. To achieve it, we have to make the most amazing ethically produced chocolate, so we can help cocoa farmers create a better future for themselves and inspire other chocolate makers to follow our example. In other words, we want to change the mainstream chocolate industry. Sugar-free bars are still too much of a niche product. Producing one won't help the cocoa farmers. But this may not always be the case. We do our best to always be one step ahead.

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