Even though our main focus is on the well-being of the farmers and their families, we also think the environment and climate change are important topics. We’ll be looking to work with parties that are trying to find a structural solution to the following 3 themes:
1. Climate changeA serious issue for cocoa farmers in West Africa, so also for us. Yup, cocoa farmers in West Africa are already suffering the consequences of climate change. In fact, deforestation is a major problem in both Ghana and Ivory Coast. And then there’s soil erosion, drought and extreme heat, all of which increase the chance of failed harvests.
Tony's takes action:We intensified our collaboration with Justdiggit last year. Justdiggit is an innovative Dutch club that “re-greens” dry regions. At the moment, they’re mainly active in East Africa. Partly thanks to our contribution of 54,000, they managed to re-green an additional area of more than 50 hectare over the past year (in addition to 18.6 hectare the previous year). And that area is keeping hold of 6,000 tonnes of carbon that would otherwise be polluting the air! That’s almost 3 times as much carbon as the previous year. Over the coming year, we want to support Justdiggit gain more ground in Ghana (both literally and figuratively!). And that’s not just great for the environment, but also good for the cocoa farmers we work with.
2. Reducing Tony’s carbon footprintUltimately, we would like to reach a situation where consuming a bar of Tony’s chocolate will help improve our environmental footprint. Very ambitious….we know. Right, so we’re going for a climate positive bar, which means we need to prevent and reduce the production of carbon emissions in our chain.
Tony's takes action:The cocoa beans from Ghana and Ivory Coast arrive in Antwerp by ship, and our bars are also sent to the US by ship. But maritime transport is one of the most polluting industries on the planet. So we’d like to make shipping more sustainable. That’s why we’re taking part in the innovative GoodShipping program, which is part of GoodFuels. GoodShipping has an amazing, important mission: persuading the shipping industry to change by switching to sustainable biofuel.
We also look at how we can reduce the carbon emissions in the manufacture of milk powder in our milk chocolate bars. About 70% of all emissions in our bean to bar chain come from manufacturing milk powder. It's quite a complex issue, but you'll definitely hear more about it from us.
3. Tony’s SourcingWe want to limit our impact on the environment as much as possible, not just by using
the right cocoa but also through inclusions and by choosing different packaging materials. In practice this means that we prefer to work with raw materials that have been produced locally (if possible!) and according to the Fairtrade standards. We also like to keep a close eye on waste. When we pick our packaging materials we prefer options that are made from recycled materials. This is still a big challenge, because unfortunately we’re still using aluminum foil. We just can’t find a sustainable alternative. Any ideas? If so, let us know!