The True Cost of Cocoa – Tony’s Chocolonely Progress Report

True Price and Tony’s Chocolonely have a multi-year collaboration. Tony’s Chocolonely is a Dutch chocolate brand, known for its mission to make the global chocolate chain 100% slave-free. Since 2012, Tony’s Chocolonely has been buying cocoa beans directly from farmer cooperatives in Ivory Coast and Ghana. Furthermore, Tony’s Chocolonely wanted to understand the impacts of their cacao value chain compared to the sector. Therefore in 2013, True Price carried out an analysis for Tony’s Chocolonely in which the social and environmental costs of a conventional chocolate bar and a Tony’s Chocolonely chocolate bar were calculated.

In 2013, Tony’s performed 44% better than the sector cocoa. Now we have published an extensive report that tracks the performance of Tony’s Chocolonely. While the current true cocoa cost for both Tony’s Chocolonely and the sector benchmark show improvement since 2013, there is still work to be done to have lower true costs and more sustainable cocoa.

Tony’s Chocolonely cocoa is more sustainable than the average cocoa

True Price found that the true cost of cocoa for Tony’s Chocolonely farms in 2017 is €4.52 per kilogram. This is 54% lower than the true cost of the (weighted) average cocoa in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana (true cost of €9.91) and is an 43% improvement compared to the Tony’s Chocolonely farms in 2013 (true cost of €7.93).

By quantifying the social costs in the cocoa value chain, such as underarming and child labor, Tony’s Chocolonely were able to adapt their price setting strategies to ensure that farmers make a living income. Tony’s Chocolonely performs better on the impacts underearning of smallholder farmers (that receive a Tony’s Chocolonely premium), child labor and forced labor (that Tony’s Chocolonely actively seeks to prevent). In addition, Tony’s Chocolonely’s farms have higher yields, which also helps to reduce the true costs per kilogram cocoa.

Tony’s Chocolonely has improved since 2013, but there are still external costs

While the results of this study show that real progress has been made over the years, external costs still remain. True Price’s work with Tony’s Chocolonely provides valuable insights into the opportunities for progress and improvement for the chocolate sector.

For further information check out our Tony’s case page or the full report.