Chocoloney or Chocolonley?

Today is our last full day in The Netherlands. Although I will miss Amsterdam I am more than ready to return home for the rest of the summer. Today instead of going to a company, the company came to us. The company that the group was learning about today was Tony’s Chocolonely which is a sustainable chocolate brand based in the Netherlands. The representative that was visiting us today was Joke, Tony’s Inspired Actress. Joke’s role in the company was to reach out to other chocolate companies in hopes that they will adapt Tony’s sustainable sourcing method. This method is founded on different pillars such as a living wage for farmers, no child labor and decreasing deforestation in farming communities. This is a big difference from most of the U.S based chocolate companies that I am used to consuming. As Joke explained those companies usually focus on only one feature of increasing sustainability, for example Mars focuses on helping farmers increase productivity so they can produce a higher yield. Tony’s and their partners focus on multiple aspects of sustainability while also keeping their commitment to the cocoa farmers. Tony’s increases their price per bar by adding this step into the supply chain, but they can find pride in knowing they are increasing the quality of life for farmers around the world. Tony’s engages in 5 year contracts with farmers led co-ops to ensure that their farmers can earn a good price for their product. Furthermore Tony’s goes the extra mile to track the growth of farms to help stop deforestation. One of the most impactful points made in the presentation was the pronunciation of the brand name. Before the presentation I had been referring to the company as Tony’s Chocoloney, but it was made clear to me that the brand name is a mixture of two words Chocolate and lonely.

After our talk with Joke we were able to see how the candy bars were produced in the Tony’s Chocolonley store in downtown Amsterdam. The store contained a small production facility where customers were able to custom order chocolate bars. This is a great business tactic in my opinion as customers have a role in the supply chain and participate in the process of creating the product. This method could also possibly endear consumers to the message that Tony’s is trying to push. By helping create the product you also have a role in providing for cocoa farmers in Africa. To end the day the group ate a delicious dinner at an Indonesian restaurant. Today was definitely a great end to the trip and I look forward to getting home and seeing my friends and family. 

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