The company, which was founded by two Dutch journalists with a mission to “make 100% slave-free the norm in chocolate”, said the campaign will take the form of multiple runs on banners, six-sheets, posters on rail and fly in Manchester, Bristol, and London with the aim of “educate consumers about illegal child labor and modern slavery in the chocolate industry“.
Since its launch in 2005, the Dutch brand has implemented a global ‘non-paid media’ policy, focusing on earned and owned media to have a more direct and personal conversation with consumers.
He only made exceptions when he deemed it essential to raise awareness of the issue of modern slavery in the chocolate industry.
For example, in 2017, Tony’s Chocolonely ran a full-page advertisement in a newspaper in the Netherlands to lobby for the Dutch Child Labor Due Diligence Act, which was later passed in 2019.
He launches his advertisement in the campaign because it is 20 years since the leaders of eight major chocolate companies pledged to eradicate the worst forms of illegal labor in their supply chains, – the company says: “still nothing has changed“.
A report by NORC, published in October 2020, estimates that 1.56 million children are still currently working illegally on cocoa plantations in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, where 60% of the world’s cocoa comes from.
The 2018 Global Slavery Index also confirms that there are at least 30,000 victims of modern slavery on cocoa plantations. The root cause of illegal child labor and modern slavery is poverty, as activists say cocoa farmers are paid too little for their cocoa.
Nicola Matthews, UK Marketing Manager at Tony’s Chocolonely, said: “It’s time for us to break our own rules and go beyond the limits to raise awareness on a meaningful scale. Big chocolate companies have pledged for two decades to eradicate these labor abuses, but no significant progress has been made. Time is up! We want more people to realize that by coming together and pushing for a fairer industry, they can be agents of change.
“At Tony’s, our mission is to make all chocolate 100% free of modern slavery and illegal child labor. We believe this should be the norm across the industry, but we cannot achieve this by remaining silent. The goal of this campaign is to use our marketing power to raise awareness of this issue and show chocolate lovers that together we can change the industry for the better, one bar at a time.