Waitrose becomes ‘Mission Ally’ of sustainable chocolate brand Tony’s Chocolonely

Waitrose has become the first UK retailer to join an initiative to help chocolate brands or companies which sell cocoa products have more sustainable supply chains.

The upmarket retailer has become a ‘Mission Ally’ of Dutch sustainable chocolate brand Tony’s Chocolonely, and nine of its own-brand chocolate bars, including its Cooks’ ingredients bars, will be sourced through Tony’s Open Chain.

The full range will be available across all UK stores from 8 April, recognisable by the yellow Tony’s Open Chain button on the front of the pack.

By joining Tony’s, Waitrose commits to its five sourcing principles.

These include rigorous sourcing standards, robust traceability, paying the living income reference price for cocoa and building long-term partnerships with partner cooperatives to support farmers and develop thriving cocoa communities.

Other brands to have joined Tony’s include Ben & Jerry’s and Dutch supermarket Albert Heijn, as well as fast-growing UK brand Huel.

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Sanne Van Zon-Arts, head of sales at Tony’s Open Chain, said: “Being the first UK retailer to join us, Waitrose will pave the way for changing the norm in cocoa and offering consumers more opportunities to choose responsible chocolate for which farmers are paid the living income reference price. Together we will make significant impact and take serious steps to end exploitation in cocoa.”

Charlotte Di Cello, commercial director at Waitrose said: “We’re proud to be the first UK retailer to join Tony’s Chocolonely in their mission to end exploitation in cocoa, but we definitely hope we aren’t the last.

“Joining as a Mission Ally is crucial to helping set a new industry standard. In a world where sustainability is no longer optional but essential, we want to not just meet but exceed our customers’ expectations for responsibly and ethically sourced, high-quality food across the UK and international supply chains.”

Last month, a UK startup which uses seaweed to create recyclable packaging teamed up with Waitrose and fresh fruit producer Blue Skies to help cut plastic waste across the Sub-Saharan African supply chain.

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