Tony’s Mission Lock is a new legal mechanism that secures our mission for the rest of eternity, regardless of shareholder structure.
Tony’s Mission Lock in a cocoa shell
We have introduced a brand-new governing structure to lock our mission of eradicating child and illegal labor from the chocolate industry for many years to come. We hear you ask: but isn’t that already the plan? You’re correct in thinking that our mission and Tony’s 5 Sourcing Principles, as well as the legal obligation of our leadership team to uphold these, are already embedded in Tony’s Articles of Association (the founding documents outlining the purpose of an organization).
As a stand-alone legal structure however, Tony’s Mission Lock has a ‘golden share’: a legal share in Tony’s, the company, including voting rights. This means that Tony’s mission and our 5 Sourcing Principles in Tony’s Articles of Association cannot be amended without the approval of the new governing structure – effectively locking Tony’s impact as long as the company exists.
Tony’s Mission Lock will be overseen by 3 independent Mission Guardians with a strong track record in social impact and sustainability spheres. Their sole responsibility as Mission Guardians is acting as representatives for Tony’s mission. We’ve outlined their credentials below.
Seth Goldman, Founder of Honest Tea and Eat the Change and Chair of Beyond Meat, will act as the 1st ever chair of Tony’s Mission Lock. Seth is a world leading impact entrepreneur and has experience in growing mission-led companies under a range of public and private shareholder structures.
Journalist and social activist Ikenna Azuike brings an acute understanding of West Africa’s socioeconomic context, as well as legal experience from his early career as a lawyer to the table.
And finally, a name that might ring a bell: Anne-Wil Dijkstra, Tony’s former Chief of Impact, Operations and People will bring valuable insider knowledge of Tony’s impact model to the structure.
So how will it work?
It’s simple: Mission Guardians will collaborate with Tony’s leadership team when notified by any stakeholder that a situation or decision is putting the mission at risk. This will enable them to get to the core of whatever’s happening proactively with management.
Their aim? To unwrap the details behind any concerns. Tony’s Mission Guardians can spring into action to utilize this “break glass in emergency” approach, whenever serious concerns are expressed to them by any company stakeholder, including Choco Fans.
In addition to holding the right (golden share) to veto any amendments to Tony’s mission, the Mission Guardians are equipped with a suite of tools that they can utilize if they have reason to believe that a breach in the company’s mission-related responsibilities may be happening.
In extreme circumstances when our mission is at stake - Mission Guardians have the power and tools to escalate these concerns publicly through:
Publishing a spread in Tony’s annual FAIR report
Publicizing the situation via international newspaper placements
Ultimately, referring the matter for legal investigation and arbitration at the Enterprise Chamber of the Court of Appeal in Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Those are some pretty serious scenarios. And we’re expecting it doesn’t ever come to that, of course.
Raising the bar
We will be sharing the full detail of the Tony’s Mission Lock structure and approach open source for other companies to copy or act as an inspiration for more tailored approaches. In doing so, we hope to set the pace for other impact companies to adopt the same structure and thus raise the bar collectively.
Any stakeholder who has touchpoints with the company can raise any serious concerns anonymously with Mission Guardians, including employees, cocoa farmers, business partners and Choco Fans, via: email@example.com.
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