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A Chocolate Love A-Fair

26 August, 2022

Ice cream and chocolate; the perfect pair. And there is going to be plenty of it thanks to a new partnership between our favourite sweet-toothed men; Ben, Jerry and Tony.

Unilever-owned Ben & Jerry’s is teaming up with chocolate brand Tony’s Chocolonely. Not only will there be special products, but Ben & Jerry’s will follow Tony’s ‘Open Chain’ sourcing principles, for greater transparency to help eliminate modern slavery and child labour from cocoa supply chains.

The Principles lay out guidance for sourcing beans from farmers which provide data on human rights and log this on a digital platform. It ensures a living income, expanding direct contact with farmers, and making sure that brands take responsibility to help famers increase productivity without increasing the number of workers on-site by turning to slave or child labour.

Ben & Jerry’s already sources 100% of its cocoa through Fairtrade routes and has also implemented a ‘Producer Development Initiative.’ But it’s great to see a huge global brand that is already a strong advocate of social justice recognising and following the initiative of a challenger brand. Brought together by a shared mission, it proves the potential for meaningful impact when innovation flows both ways.

The average rate of child labour in the chocolate industry is 46.5%. Tony’s rate is 3.9% (or 1,701 cases), which it attributed to the Open Chain Sourcing principles approach. Any child labour is deeply concerning, but such transparent communications of Tony’s journey towards its goal of ‘making 100% slave-free chocolate a reality’, is something we hope other businesses will follow.

It certainly seems to be love at first bite for these two brands collaborating towards a shared goal. Bring out the Open (chocolate) Source.

By Alice Railton

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