NETHERLANDS – Barry Callebaut, Dutch supermarket chain, Albert Heijn and the Dutch confectionery company Tony’s Chocolonely have formed a strategic partnership to set chocolate industry standards with an aim to end child labour and slavery in chocolate sourcing.

The partnership also aims to raise industry standards to enhance a more enabling working environment along the cocoa chain while advocating for better income and living among cocoa farmers.

As part of the partnership, the Dutch retailer Albert Heijn will source cocoa for its Delicata brand based on the five sourcing principles of Tony’s Chocolonely.

Tony’s Open Chain platform will offer support to other chocolate companies to join and tackle lasting social issues in cocoa.

“This is a giant step for the chocolate industry, and an important move towards making sustainable chocolate the industry standard by 2025,” said Antoine de Saint-Affrique, CEO of Barry Callebaut.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to collaborate with both the biggest retailer in the Netherlands and a company as committed to its slave-free mission as Tony’s Chocolonely, and we look forward to expanding this success story through our logistical expertise.”

The platform provides chocolate companies with access to the expertise needed to eliminate social issues from their own supply chain.

The three are working on a collaboration to make 100% slave-free the norm in chocolate industry, by following Tony’s strategy to establish direct relations with cocoa cooperatives, traceable cocoa and a living income for cocoa farmers.

Barry Callebaut has enabled the partnership with its expertise in processing the segregated cocoa to chocolate.

“Together we make more impact.

I’m thrilled that Albert Heijn and Barry Callebaut are joining us on our roadmap towards slave-free chocolate,” said Henk Jan Beltman, Chief Chocolate Officer with Tony’s Chocolonely.

“We have always aimed to be exemplary and inspire others to act. Today our impact is bigger than our chocolate alone.

We’re certain that this is just the first step on the journey to change the industry – together make chocolate 100% slave-free.”

Abert Heijin plans to source chocolate made exclusively from fully traceable cocoa, bought at a higher price from Tony’s Chocolonely partner cooperatives in Ghana and the Ivory Coast from March 2019.

According to Tony’s Chocolonely, extreme poverty is the main cause of lasting social issues in the cocoa industry, issues which will only be resolved when companies go beyond certifications and are willing to pay a higher price than the certification premium.