Tony's Chocolonely may have its critics, but the B-Corp, Fairtrade-certified company certainly isn't shy when it comes to spreading the word about inequality within the chocolate industry. Just take its cheeky Sweet Solutions lookalike bars for example.
Now, the company is about to embark on a UK tour for the first time to speak to customers face-to-face to increase awareness, both in the Dutch chocolate brand itself as well as the injustices that exist within the cocoa supply chain.
Branded "Choose Agents", the travelling exhibition, masterminded by global brand experience agency, Sense, will head to at least four major cities in England, Scotland and Wales this August and September.
The bight red stand is designed to mimic a newsagent kiosk, with the trademark Tony's Chocolonely twist. Visitors will receive samples of chocolate while learning about the inequalities that exist in the chocolate industry. The company hopes its unique blend of fun, interaction and education will empower customers to make better, more informed choices when it comes to their chocolate purchases. And, of course, it hopes to pick up new customers in the process, especially with Christmas just around the corner.
According to a NORC Report in October 2020, 1.56 million children work illegally within the chocolate industry. The Global Slavery Index report in 2017 claimed 30,000 instances of modern slavery exist on cocoa farms in Ghana and Ivory Coast.
The exhibition, which will run for a weekend in each city, will highlight the company's 'Five Sourcing Principles' for ensuring slave-free cocoa:
- 100% traceable cocoa beans
- Paying a higher price
- Strengthening farmer cooperatives
- Engaging in long-term direct trading partnerships
- Focusing on cocoa quality and productivity to optimise cocoa yields.
The Tony's Chocolonely UK tour coincides with the the UN's designation of 2021 as the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour.
If you want to learn more about the broken chocolate industry, Netflix's Rotten series is a great place to start. For a frank and factual account of how the industry became as disjointed and unfair as it is today, pick up a copy of Kristy Leissle's Cocoa book.
Dates for your diary:
- Manchester Spinningfields on 21 and 22 August 2021
- Cardiff St David’s Place on 28 and 29 August 2021
- Edinburgh Castle Street on 4 and 5 September 2021
- Bristol Cabot Circus Podium on 18 and 19 September 2021
The exhibition may head to Dublin in due course if the Irish Covid restrictions permit. If that happens, it would be great to see Belfast added to the list too.
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Crazy about chocolate. Serious about people Hello there, I'm Tony's Chocolonely. I exist to end slavery in the chocolate industry. My mission is to make 100% slave free the norm in chocolate. Together with you.
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