True Price & Tony’s Chocolonely Raise the Bar

At the annual Tony’s Fair, Tony’s Chocolonely published their Jaarfairslag 2014 (annual report, in Dutch), in which they announced that they intend to reduce the negative impact of their bar to zero by 2019. Tony’s has set this ambition on the basis of research of True Price.

Since 2012, Tony’s Chocolonely has been buying their cocoa beans directly from farmer cooperatives in Ivory Coast and Ghana: ‘from bean to bar’.  Besides sourcing Fairtrade and organic cocoa from Ghana, the farmers are even paid an additional premium. Tony’s Chocolonely was looking for a way to know, show, and improve the environmental and social costs of the cocoa. What is the impact of the premium? Which additional steps can they take to improve living conditions and environmental impacts? And how does Tony’s perform compared to non-sustainable alternatives?

“Tony’s Chocolonely is always looking for innovative ways to raise awareness and find solutions. In this context, our collaboration with True PriceTM is an interesting opportunity. This project allows us to quantify our progress, focus our attention, and refine our strategy.” – Arjen Boekhold, Chain Director

True Price’s role
True Price conducted a True Price scan to determine the footprint and monetize social & environmental costs like CO2 emissions, forced labour and income distribution throughout Tony’s supply chain. Our experts executed a similar exercise for non-sustainable cocoa to create a sector benchmark.

First outcomes
The True Price™ scan for Tony’s Chocolonely made negative externalities more visible and provided valuable insights into the opportunities for process improvement within Tony’s supply chain:

Tony’s is on the right track:
– Tony´s footprint was 40% lower than that of the average non-sustainable chocolate bar in 2013.
– Sustainable certifications are not substantial enough and much more investment is needed.
– The premium of at least 25% given to the farmers results in a higher net income & more training for local farmers.

Identified opportunities to improve:
Underpayment, land use, child & forced labour identifies, health care and knowledge-building of farmers are areas where Tony’s makes & can make a difference.
– Around 70% of environmental costs are at farm level. Land use, productivity, cacao prices, offer a room for improvement.

A peek into the future:
If all measures succeed, the future is bright: Tony’s aims to eliminate all environmental and social costs in their supply chain by 2019.

Last week to join the consultation: "The Business Case for True Pricing"

After an exciting couple of weeks, we have now entered the last week of our online consultation around “The Business Case for True Pricing“: the report we are writing together with Deloitte, EY, PwC and True Price.

And we look forward to including your input too! Download the report and join the consultation. If your time is limited, feel free to fill out only part of the survey. In case of any questions, feel free to contact us or to join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter.

Event on May 20: The Business Case for True Pricing and Open Working Group on Monetization

Date: 20 May 2014
Location: Amsterdam, Antonio Vivaldistraat 150 (EY)
Time: 17.10-19.00, including drinks. Preceding the seminar, from 16.00 to 17.00, there will be an Open Working Group session as part of the Green Deal on Transparency of Natural and Social Capital (see below)

The free seminar ‘The Business Case for True Pricing’ will focus on exploring the opportunities of monetization of social and environmental impacts for your business. The seminar will be based on the trailblazing report that we wrote in collaboration with PwC, EY and Deloitte, within the True Price Platform.

The seminar is a Plenary Session of the Green Deal ‘Transparency of Natural and Social Capital’ initiated by True Price, together with MVO Nederland, IUCN, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, and signed by more than twenty Dutch organizations, amongst whom leading businesses, financial institutions and NGO’s. The seminar will be in English.


17.10-17.15 Opening
17.15-17.20 Green Deal Transparency of Natural and Social Capital
17.20-17.30 The Potential of Monetizing
17.30-17.55 The Business Case for True Pricing report
17.55-18.20 Panel discussion: Opportunities and challenges of monetizing
18.20-18.30 Q&A and Conclusions
18.30-19.00 Drinks

Herman Mulder, former Chairman GRI / Chairman True Price.
Willem Lageweg, Director MVO Nederland.
Martin Lok, program manager Green Growth Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.
Arjen Boekhold, Chain Director Tony’s Chocolonely
Simon Braaksma, Senior Director CSR and Integrated Reporting Philips
Koen de Snoo, Director Sustainability Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment
William van Niekerk, Director Corporate Social Responsibility Royal BAM
Adrian de Groot Ruiz, Executive Director True Price


In case you are interested in attending the event, we kindly ask you to leave your contact details on this page.

Preceding session: Open Working Group on Monetization

As part of the Green Deal on Transparency of Natural and Social Capital True Price organises the first open working group on Monetization. This will be an interactive session in which we will discuss the opportunities and risks of monetization for several Flagship projects, similar to the project of BAM. It will take place on the same date and location, from 16.00 to 17.00.

Organizations can participate in this working group if they (plan to) do a Flagship project. This is a project in which organizations calculate the social and ecological impact of a product, organization or investment. An example is the Flagship Project of BAM, the major European construction-services business:

“BAM started a project with True Price to calculate the social and environmental costs of one of her innovative products. The goal of the project is to improve decision making about future risks and costs, and clearer communication how the performance of the product differs from a conventional product.”

In case you are interested in participating in the working group or would like to know more, feel free to get in touch with Michel Scholte via

Green Deal on Transparency of Natural and Social Capital signed

True Price, IUCN NL and MVO Nederland have taken the initiative for a new Green Deal with the Dutch Government, titled ‘Working Together on Transparancy of Natural and Social Capital’. This Deal enables a coalition of 13 large companies to cooperate with civil society organizations on making visible their impact on nature and the well-being of people. The parties will work together with the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.

The Green Deal was signed yesterday during the Leaders for Nature Forum, a yearly sustainability event for companies. Among the companies joining are AkzoNobel, ARCADIS, BAM, Deloitte, DSM, EY, FMO, Interface, Heijmans, KPMG, Philips, PwC en Thermaflex. The Netherlands Institute of Chartered Accountants (NBA) and the Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Investment (VBDO) have also signed.

Objective of the Green Deal is that companies map the societal impact of their operations and production chains and report back their results, for instance through their annual reports. Making the impact of business on nature and society visible improves the understanding of a company’s actual performance; an important step towards a sustainable, green and inclusive economy. Moreover, the deal contributes to the implementation of the Natural Capital agenda that the Dutch government has prioritized.

The different parties will engage in a program together, in which knowledge sharing and knowledge development are central. Wherever possible, joint projects will be initiated. 

Letter State Secretary: True Price as enabler for circular economy

In a letter to the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) of the Dutch Parliament, the Dutch State Secretary of Infrastructure and the Environment mentions True Pricing as an enabler for ‘circular decisions’.

The Ministry for Infrastructure and the Environment supports the True Price Platform, with which we are further developing our method for calculating hidden ecological and social costs. Open-source guidelines on how to calculate these costs will be published in the course of this year. When hidden costs are monetized, they can be used to concretely inform decisions within companies and sectors.

Transparency on the hidden costs of different products and companies can as such lead to circular innovation, as the True Price of circular production is lower due to reduced extraction and waste. The full letter and its informative attachment can be downloaded on the Dutch government website.