- Product: Chocolate
- Purpose: To make 100% slave-free chocolate the norm
- What can we learn? Tear up the rule book
Tony’s dared to do things differently, a tenacity that's only catalysed their success. They knew the way the chocolate industry runs wasn’t right, and so unapologetically stood up for what they believed in- even when that meant counteracting top-choc brands in order to create an entirely new system of production. Tony's demonstrate the imperative importance of leading with your morals, a commitment that's led them to become innovators in their industry.
What's Tony's Chocolonely's story?
Tony’s Chocolonely are a chocolate manufacturer, though unlike most, their primary goal isn’t profit. Rather, profit is a means to a much bigger goal: '100% slave-free chocolate'. You might assume this a given when purchasing chocolate from your local supermarket, but Tony’s are in fact one of few in the industry speaking up about the level of exploitation that exists throughout the production of chocolate. Ghana and Ivory Coast make up 60% of the cocoa industry alone and are home to over 2 million children working in the cocoa supply chain illegally.
Tony’s abiding commitment to slave-free chocolate means ensuring their own supply chain is totally ethical. So, to qualify their mission, they created a clearly defined impact strategy that includes three main areas:
- Create Awareness.
Tony’s believe that if all chocolate lovers and retailers become aware of the truth behind chocolate, they’ll start demanding it’s made fairly and then manufacturers will follow suit (in turn eliminating slavery from the production process altogether)
- Lead by example.
For Tony’s to have credibility, they have to set the precedent for others to follow. In doing so, they work closely and directly with partner corporations in Ghana & Ivory Coast, in order to have fully traceable cocoa beans, and pay higher prices for their produce so they can increase efficiency, productivity and quality.
- Inspiring others to act.
Tony’s can’t bring about systemic change single-handedly, they need to galvanise a community of like-minds with a shared passion for their principles. So, unusually, they’ve created a business model that they've actively invited other companies to copy, or even improve on, knowing that collaboration and inclusivity is key to driving systemic change.
What can we learn?
With bars that break into uneven pieces (illustrative of the inequality that exists in the chocolate industry), Tony’s have recreated a means of chocolate production that's representative of their values. Their decision to challenge the status quo in everything they do has made them one of the most dynamic pioneers of purpose in business today, and their commitment to ethical innovation has propelled them forwards for 15 years, enabling them to surpass some of the biggest, and long-standing, players in the game.
True innovators of purpose dare to be different and dare to do what’s right, even if that means tearing up and rebuilding long-standing production lines that have been sustained for centuries. When it comes to purpose in business, Tony's certainly know how to execute.