Ben & Jerry’s has joined forces with Dutch confectionery specialist Tony’s Chocolonely in a campaign to end modern slavery and child labor in the chocolate industry. Before announcing the allied effort, the Burlington, Vermont, USA-headquartered ice cream company and the Amsterdam, Holland-based chocolate maker’s product development teams got together to create sweet treats inspired by each other.
Consumers will see and taste the result of their creative collaboration this coming January with the retail rollout of Chocolatey Love A-Fair, a new flavor from Ben & Jerry’s based on Tony’s popular milk caramel sea salt bar; and Tony’s Chocolate Love A-Fair, two new Tony’s bars inspired by Ben & Jerry’s Strawberry Cheesecake and Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream flavors.
The cocoa beans from these new chocolatey treats are sourced through Tony’s Open Chain, which helps companies take steps to end the modern slavery and child labor in the chocolate industry. Ben & Jerry’s will also begin converting its ice cream portfolio to Tony’s Open Chain, prioritizing the cocoa in the ice cream base mix.
Ben & Jerry’s already pays farmers a Fairtrade premium for their cocoa beans through an ongoing partnership with Fairtrade, and boosts this further by paying a living income reference price. The ice cream company will now also commit to Tony’s 5 Sourcing Principles which means, among other things, also paying a fee to further support the partner co-operatives in Côte d’Ivoire.
As a mission ally of Tony’s Open Chain and by beginning their conversion to buying cocoa directly from eight partner co-operatives in the West African country, Ben & Jerry’s will not only get to know which farmers produce the beans that go into their chocolatey ice cream, but also under which social and environmental circumstances they are grown.
“We began this journey seven years ago, when we first partnered with Fairtrade co-ops in Côte d’Ivoire, and this is the exciting next step as we amplify our commitment to farmers, equity, and ethical sourcing,” said Cheryl Pinto, Ben & Jerry’s global head of values-led sourcing. “Tony’s Open Chain enables us to combine traceability with sourcing principles that naturally align to our mission and supports cocoa farmers to meet high standards on social and environmental practices while strengthening their co-operative.”