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The notorious SDGs

September 30, 2020

If you’re fighting serious global problems, the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have got your back. And during Global Goals Week, people are celebrating their awesomeness in addressing the world’s most urgent issues. Tony’s is joining in by bigging up the 6 goals that go hand in hand with our mission to make all chocolate 100% slavery free. Here’s the down low.. 

SDGs are the OG (original gangster, ya dig?) of modern impact strategies: hardcore objectives to tackle poverty, protect the planet and bring peace and prosperity to all people by 2030. Talk about ambitious, right? But what’s a tight deadline when you have a reputation as the world’s best plan to tackle everything from poverty to gender equality? And when every UN member state, not to mention tens of thousands of organisations and individuals, have joined your posse to help tackle the world’s most pressing problems. 

99 problems and poverty’s number 1 

Poverty, hunger, health and education.. it’s hard to know where to start! And with social, economic and environmental crises so interconnected, well, it’s complicated. But the SDGs have got the complicated covered. The 17 goals — from poverty at number 1 to partnerships at number 17 — all take a global, integrated approach that keeps the bigger picture in mind. Each roadmap takes into account that action in one area affects outcomes in others. As an added bonus, the goals also provide a common language to talk about the problems, and a clear role for all sectors of society to play. Now that’s some joined-up shizzle. 

How does Tony’s roll with the SDGs? 

By our book, every business should be socially minded by default. Or else you’re just a-social. Businesses have a duty to do more towards fixing the problems of the planet and its people. Tony’s is an impact company first and foremost, so all the SDGs are integrated in the work we do, directly or indirectly. But to stay focused, we’ve picked 6 that are core to our mission to make chocolate 100% slavery free. Uh, uh, check it out yeah.. 

  • SDG 1: NO POVERTY 
    End poverty in all its forms everywhere  

    For us, this is the biggie. Poverty is the root cause of illegal child labour and modern slavery in the cocoa sector. It’s also complex, not just a case of mo’ money no problems (hee hee, see what we did there?). Check out our upcoming Living Standard and Welfare Survey report to read more about that.

    Tony’s task: Helping farmers out the poverty trap by looking at all the dimensions of poverty from health and education to income. We also support a living income through our 5 Sourcing Principles. Paying a higher price for cocoa is one, but it has to happen together with others, such as improving quality and productivity, if we’re going to break the cycle. 

  • SDG 2: ZERO HUNGER  
    End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture 

    Empty pockets, empty plates. Simple. Ending hunger is tightly tied to earning a living income. But better farming practices are also needed to support sustainable cocoa harvests and subsistence crops on our partners’ plantations. 

    Tony’s task: One of our 5 Sourcing Principles is improving productivity and quality. It's super important to invest in agricultural knowledge and skills, and as such, we work with our partner coops to coach farmers on productivity, diversification, biodiversity and quality to improve yield (without increasing illegal labour and deforestation). We also help farmers to improve their practices with incentives like the Best Farmer Award. 

  • SDG 8: DECENT WORK & ECONOMIC GROWTH  
    And specifically: 
    SDG 8.7 END MODERN SLAVERY, TRAFFICKING AND CHILD LABOUR 
    Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all  

    In the West African cocoa sector, illegal child labour and modern slavery are worse than ever. Without systemic change, sustainable economic growth and decent work is never going to happen. 

    ​​​​​​​Tony’s task: Our mission to make all chocolate worldwide 100% slavery free strongly aligns with the targets of this SDG, especially as it calls to take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking, and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of illegal child labour.  
    ​​​​​​​
  • SDG 10: REDUCED INEQUALITIES 
    ​​​​​​​Reduce inequality within and among countries  

    ​​​​​​​Know our unequally divided chocolate bars? Well, they represent the unfair distribution of value and power in the chocolate supply chain in its purest form. We can't sit idle knowing that millions of poverty-entrapped cocoa farmers are at one end on the supply chain satisfying billions of choco fans at the other. And let's not forget that middle bit. The most important part. The part occupied by a few chocolate giants raking in the benjamins by keeping the cocoa purchasing price as low as possible. To us, that’s true inequality, unfair and square. And did we mention that this is the root cause of poverty, ergo, also illegal child labour and modern slavery?  

    Tony’s task: Tony’s exists to change that. Not just stoking wokeness so people can make better chocolate choices. But by walking the walk, so Big Choco can see that it is possible to do business more equally. We want to inspire action, so businesses get down to better business by supporting human rights due diligence legislation or joining our Open Chain sourcing platform to make the cocoa chain equal. Oh, and you’ve already signed our petition, right? Fair play! 
    ​​​​​​​
  • SDG 12: RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION & PRODUCTION 
    Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 

    Real talk: the world doesn’t need chocolate. It’s a luxury. But can we seriously call it one of life’s little pleasures when it’s made at the cost of people and the planet? Time for a serious production and consumption rethink.  

    Tony’s task: First up, we all gotta face the facts. We’re looking ’em straight in the eye, and raising our voice to get the word out about the issues in the cocoa supply chain — to all choco fans and key choco industry players. Then we've all gotta take action. Accountably. Like striving for the economic and social progress of the cocoa communities, but not at the cost of our planet (cue our 5 Sourcing Principles). We're taking a close-up look at our own material footprint, staying fully transparent about how we need to improve and integrating sustainability reporting in our ways of working.   

  • SDG13: CLIMATE ACTION 
    Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 

    As we grow our business, we grow our positive impact on the cocoa communities. But also, sadly, our negative impact on the environment. Not cool. 

    ​​​​​​​Tony's task: Upping our game from carbon neutral to carbon positive, in our products, our packaging and through our partnerships to make the cocoa sector socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable. Even though we offset 100%, we’ve got a long way to go, but we’re hard at work with good people like JustDiggit and the GoodShipping co.  

With only 10 years left to the global deadline, you bet we'll be hustling hard with our SDGs. And not just during Global Goals week, of course. Keep an eye on our socials for updates over the year. But for now, that's a w(rap). 


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