Major chocolate companies such as Mars, Hershey and Nestle have confirmed child slavery while producing chocolates. Approximately 2.3 million children work in the cocoa fields of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. Regardless of this fact, many major chocolate companies still need to take serious measures against their practices.
Meanwhile, Tony’s Chocolonely an Amsterdam based chocolate company desires to transform the entire industry. Their goal is to make the chocolate industry 100 percent free of slavery and not only their own industry but also of the world.
The main problem during the chocolate supply chain is that the process starts with the cocoa farmers and stops at you enjoying your chocolate bar. Big companies want to make the profit as much as possible, most of the times farmers are left in worst conditions, where they are not even able to earn a living income from cocoa. Basically, farmers are not able to receive the required amount for their beans which lead to poverty and results in child labor and slavery.
Four years ago, Tony’s Chocolonely decided to find a better way to trace the path of cocoa beans. They created a shared value chain platform from the initial stage of bean to bar which was called as Beantraker. Beantraker virtually records the journey from bean to bar and consist of a monitoring tool for all the actors within the chain to notice if the beans are at a specific moment in time or no.
The goal of Beantracker platform is to have an industry standard so as to trace the beans to bar. The Beantracker platform can be used by big companies to fight against modern slavery in the industry.
Tony’s Chocolonely considers the best way to make changes in the industry by slowly getting the big companies on board along with slave-free chocolate and create a growing supply chain model. Callebaut is a strong partner of the firm for over years now.
When Frans Pannekoek was asked by Forbes on the mission of Tony’s Chocolonely and why did they involve into the chocolate industry to end the modern slavery and exploitation in the cocoa industry? He said,
“My real push to work for Tony’s is of the opportunity to change the system. In the chocolate industry even being small, I was able to execute my vision over a shared value chain centered within the flow of information. By developing an infrastructure, IT systems and processes create something which could be utilized by large players in the industry.”
He added that Blockchain was one of the hottest technologies two years ago. They were told to host a pilot along with Accenture so as to examine the opportunities and to gain experience of working with the new technology where they have learned a lot.
Getting data on the platform was the biggest challenge. The blockchain does not do anything to enhance that process more than other technologies. The technology is still in its initial stage and still cost-effective, needs time and resources to update and change.