Recently I had the pleasure of an invite to Tony's Chocolonely's head office in Amsterdam. Yes, be very jealous! I had the guided tour, saw the tasting room, museum cupboard with all the past and present products and the 'Chocolate Wall'. I'm pretty sure the office fridge was just full of chocolate also! It seemed more like Willy Wonker's Chocolate factory than an office, where do I apply for a job? I also had a good laugh reading the 'Who are we' page about the staff on the Tony's website, who knew the Dutch were so crazy? But I guess it goes in line with their motto 'Crazy about chocolate, serious about people'.
Tony's chocolate is currently available in the the Netherlands, USA and soon to be in the UK for all my British followers! Nice! It's a fairly well known brand in the Netherlands and is available in many stores for purchase. Tony's are on their way to creating a 100% slave free chocolate industry and also use organic and fair trade ingredients as much as possible to flavour their chocolate. The packaging is uncoated FCS-recycled paper and the aluminium foil is also sourced from recycled materials.
The majority of the large named chocolate brands from the UK and US use cocoa beans farmed from cocoa farms who use child slaves. Approximately 60% of the worlds cocoa comes from two West African countries: Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Around half a million people work under illegal circumstances in West Africa on cocoa farms. Many are children forced to work, missing out on their vital education and in unsafe circumstances. Tony's only work with farms who have been approved and they educate the farmers to improve the yield, reduce the use of pesticides and promote a healthy and safe working environment.
Hopefully Tony's can inspire the larger chocolate manufacturing companies to take responsibility for their cocoa and offer fair trade for the produce. We can only live in hope and continue to support the brands that do and avoid those that don't. Power to the people!
So, if you haven't tried Tony's Chocolonely chocolate yet, next time you see it in your local supermarket give one of the tasty flavours a try! And feel better for knowing that is was produced from cocoa beans that were ethically and Fair Trade farmed in West Africa.
So far may favourite flavours are the Milk Chocolate Popcorn Discodip and the Dark Chocolate Pecan and Coconut. Now, let me get back to sampling some more of their flavours!! (And probably also the gym).
Visit Tony's Chocolonely at www.tonyschocolonely.com for further info.