Tony Chocolonely: How it all started...

Logo Tony Chocolonely

Tony Chocolonely has been working towards making all chocolate 100% slave free sinds 2003. They now know how difficult it is to change an entire industry. Luckily, they’ve grown enormously and got good results. 

This infographic will show you the story on Tony Chocolonely. Go to the next item by using the arrows on the screen or on your keyboard. It’s possible to return to the previous item as well. 

"Teun turns himself in as a chocolate criminal"

Teun van de Keuken is shocked when in 2003, he reads a book about child slavery on cocoa farms in West Africa. He realises that slavery still exists, so he decides to study this phenomenon further.
Teun van de Keuken is shocked when in 2003, he reads a book about child slavery on cocoa farms in West Africa. He realises that slavery still exists, so he decides to study this phenomenon further.

"Teun looks for witnesses"

CLMRS

The judge refuses to prosecute Teun, but instead of becoming discouraged, Teun follows the advice of his lawyer and looks for witnesses: victims of the chocolate he’d eaten.

He finds four boys who had worked as slaves on a cocoa farm in Ivory Coast. They tell Teun their stories and provide him with the evidence he needs.

"The first Tony's bar becomes a reality"

Teun is awaiting the judge’s ruling and decides to take action against the atrocities of the established choco order.

Teun approaches Nestlé, the sponsor of 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory',  to see if they would be willing to produce a slave free chocolate bar. Nestlé isn't particularly interested, so Teun decides to lead by example. The first Tony's Chocolonely bar is born on the 29th of November 2005: it's a milk chocolate bar packaged in a startling red wrapper and is Fairtrade and '100% slave free'. Teun ensures 5,000 Fairtrade milk chocolate bars are produced but it turns out this isn't enough. They're a huge success!

Teun approaches Nestlé, the sponsor of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, to see if they would be willing to produce a slave free chocolate bar. Nestlé isn’t particularly interested, so Teun decides to lead by example. The first Tony’s Chocolonely bar is born on the 29th of November 2005: it’s a milk chocolate bar packaged in a startling red wrapper and is Fairtrade and ‘100% slave free’. Teun ensures 5,000 Fairtrade milk chocolate bars are produced but it turns out this isn’t enough. They’re a huge success!

"On the way to 100% slave free"

Tony Chocolonely learns a hard lesson: Fairtrade doesn’t necessarily mean slave free.

The founding father, Teun van de Keuken, visits Ghana and discovers a Fairtrade certificate only goes so far. The cocoa beans are not always 100% slave free.

Then Bellissimo decides to take legal action. According to the Swiss chocolate brand, ‘slave free chocolate doesn’t exist’, which is why such a claim would be harmful to other chocolate makers. The judge votes in favour of Tony’s.

However, Tony Chocolonely changes ‘100% slave free’ to ‘on the way to 100% slave free chocolate’, as a lot needs to be accomplished before chocolate is really slave free.

Finally, the day arrives that the court of justice gives its final decision. The outcome is quite disappointing: though Teun wins a moral victory in his case against himself as a chocolate criminal, the court won’t prosecute. If it did, it would have to prosecute everyone who eats chocolate.

Shortly afterwards, the Keuringsdienst van Waarde airs its final episode on the abuses of the chocolate industry. In the meantime, Tony’s continues its battle for 100% slave free chocolate. For instance, their family starts to expand and they collaborate with Oxfam Novib to ensure all choco friends can enjoy a fairer chocolate letter at Sinterklaas (a Dutch holiday celebrating Saint Nicholas, the patron saint for children).

"Hazelnut issue"

The Tony’s family continues to grow with a new milk hazelnut bar from Turkey.

EenVandaag (a Dutch current affairs program) reprimands Tony’s because child labor is a regular occurrence in the hazelnut production in Turkey. This means that Tony Chocolonely switches to a Dutch hazelnut producer from 2010 on. To prevent issues like this one, Tony Chocolonely has made up its own rules regarding slave free chocolate..

EenVandaag (a Dutch current affairs program) reprimands Tony’s because child labor is a regular occurrence in the hazelnut production in Turkey. This means that Tony Chocolonely switches to a Dutch hazelnut producer from 2010 on. To prevent issues like this one, Tony Chocolonely has made up its own rules regarding slave free chocolate..

"Harkin Engel objectives not fully achieved"

Harkin Engel protocol

In a decade it will become apparent whether the Harkin-Engel Protocol served its purpose.

In 2001, several major chocolate companies signed the Harkin-Engel Protocol, committing themselves to eliminating the ‘worst forms of child labor’ in the cocoa industry. Unfortunately, ten years on, none of the actions agreed to in the protocol have been fully achieved. This confirms that a lot of work needs to be done before everyone in the cocoa industry gets what they’re entitled to.

"Tony's Fair"

Tony’s is continuously working on their journey towards 100% slave free chocolate. In 2013, they celebrate this at the Tony’s Fair. Do you know what’s true?

In their first annual FAIR report, Tony Chocolonely shared their vision on the chocolate industry and elaborate further on their new step in the direction of 100% slave free chocolate. They published the FAIR report each year onwards. 

To celebrate this positive turn of events, they organize Tony’s Fair for the first time ever, featuring speakers such as Teun van de Keuken and Miki Mistrati. Tony’s also throws a party with Chef’Special playing some of their cheerful tunes.

"Cocoa butter tank at Barry Callebaut"

In 2016, Tony Chocolonely installs its own cocoa butter tank at Barry Callebaut.

We’re now able to make cocoa butter fully traceable. Consequently, every cocoa bean in a Tony’s chocolate bar is traceable and has been directly purchased at one of our partner cooperatives in Ghana and Ivory coast. Aaand.. now that our cocoa butter is fully traceable, we can make white chocolate again. That is why this year saw the return of the white chocolate bar with raspberry popping candy. But how are all these different flavours created? And do you know what flavour is your favourite?

There are only a few companies which are able to make the cocoa beans into liquid chocolate. More than 70% of all liquid chocolate is made by just two companies: Barry Callebaut and Cargill.
There are only a few companies which are able to make the cocoa beans into liquid chocolate. More than 70% of all liquid chocolate is made by just two companies: Barry Callebaut and Cargill.
These companies create the best dark, milk and white chocolate bars. But how do they create these different flavours?
These companies create the best dark, milk and white chocolate bars. But how do they create these different flavours?
Dark chocolate contains the most cocoa, which must be at least 43% in the Netherlands. Besides cocoa mass and butter, it contains sugar.
Dark chocolate contains the most cocoa, which must be at least 43% in the Netherlands. Besides cocoa mass and butter, it contains sugar.
The milk chocolate bar contains less cocoa, and more milk powder. This gives the chocolate a delicious creamy taste. Might this be the reason this chocolate bar is the most eaten one?
The milk chocolate bar contains less cocoa, and more milk powder. This gives the chocolate a delicious creamy taste. Might this be the reason this chocolate bar is the most eaten one?
In the white chocolate bar, there is no cocoa mass, but only cocoa butter. This makes the colour white instead of brown. It also contains milk powder and sugar for the creamy taste.
In the white chocolate bar, there is no cocoa mass, but only cocoa butter. This makes the colour white instead of brown. It also contains milk powder and sugar for the creamy taste.

"Roadmap to 100% slave free chocolate"

Tony’s is continuously working on their mission of only having 100% slave free chocolate in the world.

  • 2005

    Tony's creates awareness

    Tony’s wants to let all chocolate lovers know that there is a problem in the cocoa industry. When more people know there is a problem, more people can solve it. Consumers also have a responsibility. Together, we can put pressure on the industry to make better and more fair choices. For example: Tony’s creates unequally divided bars.

  • 2012

    Tony's leads by example

    Leading by example: With their chocolate, Tony’s shows that they can do business another way. Without slavery.

  • The sooner, the better

    Tony's inspires to act

    Tony’s wants to inspire others to also take action. They look for chocolate producers who want to follow them and use their principles. Only then, we can make 100% slave free chocolate the norm!