Tony’s Chocolonely finds 1,700 cases of supply chain child labour, despite ‘ethical trading’ ethos

Chocolate brand which prides itself on ethical trading, Tony’s Chocolonely, has admitted to 1,700 incidents of child labour in its supply chain last year.

According to the company’s annual report for 2020/21, 1,701 cases of child labour were found on its West Africa farms, where it cacoa is sourced. The figure was up from 387, which was found in 2019/20.

The chocolate brand attributed most of the increase to the onboarding of two farming cooperatives which had child labour rates of 50% which accounted for 1,426 cases. The company added that half of children in cocoa-growing households in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire were in child labour.

READ MORE: Children left in ‘tears’ by Tony’s advent calendar

Tony’s, which campaigns to end modern day slavery in the cocoa industry uses the slogan “let’s make chocolate 100% slavery free”, has even been promoted by actor Idris Elba.

A Tony’s Chocolonely spokesperson told Supply Management: “We look for both problems in our supply chain and while we have never found any cases of modern slavery, we do find instances of child labour and report this in our Annual Fair Report.”

“Finding cases of child labour in your supply chain means you are taking responsibility and change is happening, which is reflected in the reduction in the prevalence of child labour at our long-term partner cooperatives.”

The news comes as the chocolate brand was  off the Slave Free Chocolate list last year after it partnered with processor Barry Callebaut, where 21,258 cases of child labour in its supply chain were found in its 2020/21 report.

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