News 21 September 2015

The International Cocoa Initiative welcomes two new members

Guittard Chocolate and Tony’s Chocolonely are the latest additions to ICI’s family. Both companies operate by the principle of sustainable chocolate production, which includes a fair price for the farmers and high quality for the consumer.

The Guittard Chocolate Company, a family-run, 145 years old chocolate maker based in California and Tony’s Chocolonely, a boutique Dutch company aiming at raising the chocolate bar and producing “a fair and honest chocolate” have joined the International Cocoa Initiative in June and July 2015 respectively.

Guided by the principle of “shared responsibility” ICI counts some of the largest chocolate companies, traders and processors among its members and partners (including ADM, Barry Callebaut, Cargill, Ecom, Ferrero, Hersheys, Mondelez, Mars, Nestle, Olam, Toms, Touton and Twinings), as well as international organisations (ILO, UNICEF), civil society organisations (The Sustainable Trade Initiative, Save the Children – Sweden, Solidaridad, Global March, Free the Slaves, and WAO Afrique) and a trade union (GAWU) from Ghana.

Tony’s Chocolonely’s work is guided by five sourcing principles: 1) cultivate quality and productivity improvement; 2) foster independent partnerships between farmers to stand strong in the chain; 3) purchase all ingredients for a price that provides a living income to farmers; 4) commit to long-term relationships with partners – from cocoa farmer to supplier – to enable investments; 5) provide traceability of ingredients to take responsibility for issues and create solutions.

“As part of our roadmap to create as much impact as possible, we want to inspire others to act and also be inspired to improve wherever possible. Because… hey, we’re not perfect,” says Arjen Boekhold of Tony’s Chocolonely. ”ICI is a great forum with even bigger potential to create long lasting impact through cooperation, and bringing in practice innovative ways to change the industry for the better.”

Guittard’s vision for a sustainable chocolate is one where cocoa continues to grow towards an increasingly viable business venture that, through its success and in-country capacity building, supports the growth of thriving communities, thus honouring and preserving ancient cacao varieties and their unique flavors.

“Strengthening communities in producing countries is the first step in creating a viable and thriving cocoa industry,” says Amy Guittard, fifth generation chocolate maker at Guittard Chocolate. “The child protection focus of ICI links closely with our efforts to raise awareness about the farming communities amongst our customers.”

“We at ICI are proud to welcome two highly-respected and innovative chocolate companies with a clear vision for a sustainable cocoa production,” says Nick Weatherill of ICI. “The coming years are going to be of critical importance for scaling up the collective impact that ICI’s collaborative model promotes.”

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