Tony’s Chocolonely slave trade scandal

Tony’s Chocolonely are producers of low quality industrial chocolate, only they are not.

Garish wrapping, intriguing division of the bar, the chocolate is produced by multinational Barry Callebau.

Tony’s has an agreement with multinational Barry Callebaut, which produces its chocolate bars via a dedicated production line in Antwerp, but which also admits using cocoa for its own brands which involve child labour.

On 12 2021, IRAdvocates filed a federal class action lawsuit on behalf of eight Malian young men who managed to escape back to Mali after being trafficked as children and forced to harvest cocoa in Cote D’Ivoire for one or more of the Defendant companies, Nestle, Cargill, Mars, Mondelēz, Hershey, Barry Callebaut, and Olam. These companies have a long history of violating the law and participating in a venture in Cote D’Ivoire that relies upon child slaves to produce cheap cocoa. In 2001, they signed the “Harkin-Engle Protocol” in which they explicitly promised consumers and regulators they would stop using child labour by 2005. Instead, they have given themselves numerous unilateral extensions of time and now claim that by 2025 they will reduce by 70% their reliance on child labour. Rather than make progress, their use of child labour is actually getting worse. In late 2020, a study by NORC at the University of Chicago and funded by the U.S. Department of Labor concluded that 1.56 million child laborers were working in cocoa growing areas of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana in the 2018/19 growing season, an increase of 14 percent since a 2015 study, and 1.48 million child laborers engaged in hazardous work during this period.

Terry Collingsworth, Executive Director of IRAdvocates, which represents the eight Malian Plaintiffs:

By giving themselves this series of extensions, these companies are admitting they ARE using child slaves and will continue to do so until they decide it’s in their interests to stop. Based on the objective record of twenty years of the failed Harkin-Engle Protocol, these companies will continue to profit from child slavery until they are forced to stop. The purpose of this lawsuit is to force them to stop. Enough is enough! Allowing the enslavement of African children in 2021 to harvest cocoa for major multinational companies is outrageous and must end.

The pathetic excuse of Tony’s is engagement.

Slave Free Chocolate has delisted Tony’s.

Vulture Capitalists have a stake in Tony’s.

Tony’s FairTrade and B Corp certified.

If Tony’s cared about the producers, it would be direct trade, pay growers a higher price.

What worth B Corp certification? How bad does the company have to be to not receive B Corp certification?

Mindful Chef, over-priced recipe boxes (it’s cheaper to eat out), overpackaging, obscene use of plastic, appalling service, owned by Nestle, B Corp certified.

Any shop that claims ethical standards should remove Tony’s from their shelves, not respond as one zero waste store ‘it sells’.

What of Oxfam? Will Oxfam remove Tony’s from their shelves?

Please support bean-to-bar chocolate makers, support small producers who care, who buy direct trade, pay producers higher prices than FairTrade scam, and produce quality chocolate not poor quality industrial chocolate.

From Bean to Bar, a whimsical tour of bean-to-bar chocolate makers in Great Britain, is an excellent guide to quality chocolate.


Not only chocolate. Support local indie coffee shops. buy coffee beans from reputable roasteries taht focus on direct trade, quality, pay growers a fair price not the Fair Trade scam.

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