Hello Tony Goodbye Amsterdam

I woke up this morning and had an excellent breakfast at Bagel Café, where I got a bacon, egg, cheese sandwich, and then a crêpe. I was very sad it was going to be our last day. First, we had a speaker from Tony’s Chocolonely at our hostel. There she told us what the company stands for and the overall mission. I loved how she explained the company. She said, “Crazy about chocolate, serious about people,” which best describes this company. Their mission is to improve the way cocoa beans are handled. Their five focuses are traceable beans which means knowing exactly where the beans are coming from and if they have been contaminated. The second is a higher price. This does mean the price of the chocolate bar will increase, but, in the long run, it allows the farmers to gain a higher income. Third is substantial farmers. This open chain promotes professional farming cooperatives and farms, giving the farmers and their self-organized groups the power. Fourth, in the long-term, they are working towards the commitment to cooperatives and farmers for at least five years, giving them income security and enabling them to make better, long-term decisions about their businesses. Finally, they need productivity and quality to help farmers professionalize, improve yields, diversity their crops, and access markets. There are three main reasons why the cocoa industry is so bad. Poverty is a massive aspect because farmers cannot make a liveable income. Illegal labor, especially in places like Ghana and Cote D’lvoire, has some of the worst child labor and is one of Tony’s biggest goals to eliminate. When it comes to cocoa beans, many forests have been damaged in the process, so deforestation is a huge aspect of what makes the cocoa bean industry so bad. I found Tony’s overall message so interesting, and it was very clear they had a clear goal and plan to help the cocoa bean industry.

After the Tony Chocoloney speaker, we visited the superstore. At this store, there were so many different flavors of chocolate. I couldn’t decide what to get! I also liked how you could see the workers in the background manufacturing the chocolate bars. It reminded me a lot of Hershey’s chocolate world.

We finally ended our last day at a group dinner with Indonesian food. There was chicken and rice, and it all had just the right amount of spice. I can not believe this trip is coming to an end. I have thoroughly enjoyed every single experience here, from the long train rides, exciting food, fun times with new friends, and seeing the touristy side of the Netherlands. I couldn’t have asked for a better trip or with better people. Tot ziens!

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