Why we still won't say we're 100% slave free
By now we certainly know how difficult it can be to change an industry. We’ve grown tremendously: more farmers are receiving a higher premium, we’ve got a larger range of bars and we’re making Serious Friends left and right. We’ve definitely achieved concrete results, but.. we’re not quite there yet.
It’s been a loooong 15 years – years in which we’ve been supported, encouraged, challenged and eaten up. By now we certainly know how difficult it can be to change an industry. We’ve grown tremendously: more farmers are receiving a higher premium, we’ve got a larger range of bars and we’re making Serious Friends left and right. We’ve definitely achieved concrete results, but.. we’re not quite there yet.
Not 100% slave free?
We have never found an instance of modern slavery in our supply chain, however, we do not guarantee our chocolate is 100% slave free. While we are doing everything we can to prevent slavery and child labour, we are also realistic. Firstly, we cannot be there to monitor the cocoa plantations 24/7, and we don’t believe in that kind of monitoring. And our ambition extends beyond our own bar: we want to change the whole industry which involves being where the problems are so that we can solve them. Only then can we say we have achieved our mission to make all chocolate 100% slave free.
So.. is there illegal labour in our supply chain?
The short answer is yes, but we have never said differently, and we are glad we know about it because then we can eradicate it. We actively look for instances so we can solve them. We have a Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS) in place across all 7 cocoa cooperatives that we source from in Ghana and Ivory Coast. Last year we found 387 cases of illegal child labour and remediated 221. Most big chocolate companies do not know how many cases of illegal labour there are in their cocoa supply chain and therefore they cannot work to remediate them, this is only made possible because we have a 100% traceable supply chain (as validated by PWC in our annual reports).
read more in our annual FAIR report
We got to work and show that producing chocolate can be done differently. Better. Our sourcing principles from bean to bar are as transparant and clear as they can be. Scaleable too. It's a transparant open chain.
A new norm
We can't do it alone. On our own we can make our own choclate slavefree, but together we'll make ALL chocolate 100% slave free. The sooner consumers choose slave free chocolate, the sooner 100% slave free becomes the norm in chocolate. We need to change the rules of the game, together with all players in the cocoa industry. There are 5 key player: the cocoa farmers, the choclate companies, retailers and consumers are the core. Governments in both producing and consuming countries also play an important role: they can force change through legislation.