Tony’s Chocolonely                            DEF0055

Written evidence submitted by Tony’s Chocolonely


Background information

Tony’s Chocolonely is an impact company that makes chocolate. Tony’s mission is to make the chocolate industry more equal and to eliminate illegal labour in cocoa. Tony’s envisions a world in which producing, selling or buying chocolate bars does not cause human rights violations or environmental harms.

Since its founding in 2005, Tony’s Chocolonely has made a conscious decision to prevent deforestation in the regions from which it purchases cocoa, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, and, moreover, to reforest land where possible. In the latest report covering the cocoa season of 2021/22, Tony’s was once again able to guarantee no deforestation took place on farms supplying its cocoa.


Further details about Tony’s due diligence processes and its work on deforestation can be found in our latest annual report.


Responses to specific questions:


The effectiveness of UK efforts to reduce global deforestation


In what ways and to what extent are UK value chains (in the form of public procurement, goods, services, or the private sector) contributing to global deforestation?


Cocoa is one of seven commodities responsible for significant deforestation risk in UK supply chains. Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, which together produce over 60% of the world’s cocoa, are estimated to have lost 80-95% of their forests in the last 60 years, one third of which is the result of cocoa production (Cocoa Barometer 2020). Cocoa production and deforestation, historically, have gone hand in hand as increased demand for cocoa, a decrease in available arable land and reduced cocoa production from ageing trees all mean that any growth in supply has come from land which has been illegally deforested. According to the 2022 Cocoa Barometer, the rate of deforestation, which slowed briefly in the last decade, is again on the rise in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, with disastrous effects on biodiversity, on climate change and on cocoa-growing communities.

Tony’s Chocolonely                            DEF0055

The UK is a nation of chocolate lovers, with average per capita consumption of 8.1kg of chocolate per year (CBI Report 2022). Effective legislation to combat deforestation in UK supply chains could therefore have a significant positive impact on slowing the rate of deforestation in cocoa-growing communities, saving millions of tons of carbon per year.



How effective are the measures to improve due diligence and ban imported products of illegal deforestation in the Environment Act 2021? Do these measures target the right sectors? Given that they do not extend to all products of deforestation, are they adequate?


Measures to improve due diligence are welcome but their efficacy will depend on the secondary legislation.


A key factor in the success of the Environment Act’s impact will be inclusion of the forest risk commodities; cocoa, as a significant contributor to global deforestation, must be included from the outset. Any delay will hamper the ability of this legislation to have a real impact on deforestation in UK supply chains. We would argue that all businesses should be covered by the legislation, regardless of size.


Companies should be required to use a robust, standard reporting framework with mandatory general and sectoral reporting processes. Reporting should include information on the methodology of due diligence systems; strategies and policies; traceability systems; and procedures for the detection, risk analysis and risk mitigation of actual or potential adverse impacts. Reporting should not be limited to own operations, products and services, and direct business relationships, but should include, especially for high-risk sectors, the entire value chain.

We support the inclusion of commodity-specific information proposed in the public consultation, including the geographical source of commodities, the volume and types of commodities used; traceability data; certification data; and the name of supplier(s). Tony’s uses regular, detailed polygon mapping via GPS technology and comparison with forest boundary maps to safeguard protected areas, working closely with producers, whereby Tony’s is responsible for the veracity of the data. The GPS data is then matched against Tony’s bean-to-bar traceability system, which records production so any variances can be identified and checked, with data quality also assured via partnerships with inspecting organisations.

Tony’s does not see blanket import bans as a viable solution, as they simply prevent engaged companies from improving the situation and forces them to divert activities away from whole countries and sectors. However, well-designed measures allowing for import controls and

Tony’s Chocolonely                            DEF0055

possible import bans can be effective to prevent irreparable harm or ineffective preventive and remediation efforts and to guarantee compliance.


While supporting the progress that could potentially be made in enacting the secondary legislation, Tony’s is calling for comprehensive, new legislation incorporating both human rights and environmental due diligence requirements which includes a duty of care so that corporations are responsible for any human rights or environmental harms in their supply chains.

Mandatory due diligence legislation in the form of a new Business, Human Rights and Environment Act would give businesses the clarity they need to operate and bring about real and lasting change in corporate practices, ensuring the UK remains a leading force in combating illegal labour and environment harms, keeps pace with global developments and a growing consensus for action, and creates a system of robust corporate responsibility.




Working with international partners to tackle deforestation


What impact will the UK’s measures to tackle deforestation have on producer countries, indigenous peoples and local communities?


Tackling deforestation in UK supply chains via more robust due diligence legislation would have a significant impact on cocoa-producing countries and local communities there, which is why putting the burden squarely on corporations would help to transform the cocoa sector fundamentally. Legislation should complement efforts in producing countries and be developed via engagement and dialogue with these countries, ensuring that the burden is on the multinational corporations, not smallholder farms.

Eliminating demand for cocoa produced from deforestation will mean safeguarding of forests, an increase in biodiversity, encouraging diversification of livelihoods and a fairer price for cocoa, while making progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goal to end deforestation and restore degraded forests.



April 2023