Tony’s Chocolonely: A Bittersweet Journey to Make Chocolate Slave-Free

by: Andrew Hoffman

Publication Date: April 18, 2023
Length: 30 pages
Product ID#: 2-939-113

Core Disciplines: Operations Management/Supply Chain, Social Impact, Strategy & Management, Sustainability

Partner Collection:

Available Documents

Click on any button below to view the available document.

Don't see the document you need? Don't See the Document You Need?
Make sure you are registered and/or logged in to our site to view product documents. Once registered & approved, faculty, staff, & course aggregators will have access to full inspection copies and teaching notes for any of our materials.


Need to make copies?

If you need to make copies, you MUST purchase the corresponding number of permissions, and you must own a single copy of the product.

Electronic Downloads are available immediately after purchase. "Quantity" reflects the number of copies you intend to use. Unauthorized distribution of these files is prohibited pursuant to term of use of this website.

Teaching Note

This product has a teaching note available. Available only to Registered Educators. Please login to view it.


Tony’s Chocolonely is a Dutch chocolate company that prides itself on using slave-free labor within its supply chain. However, after it was revealed that the company’s major supplier, Barry Callebaut, used child and slave labor to grow and harvest cocoa beans, Tony’s Chocolonely was heavily scrutinized and the grassroots organization Slave Free Chocolate removed Tony’s from its list of ethical chocolate brands.

In early 2022, The Times of London reported child labor in Tony’s supply chain. Responding, Tony’s Chocolonely thoroughly explained how it paid extra to keep its cocoa beans ethically grown and turned into chocolate. However, some critics still believed the company’s branding to be misleading. Later that year, Tony’s Chocolonely achieved a higher B Corp rating and announced a partnership with Ben & Jerry’s.

The fictional protagonist is an advisor to the head of impact at Tony’s, Paul Schoenmakers. She is tasked with presenting an end-of-year analysis of Tony’s strategy and goals for the next year, causing her to reflect on the highs and lows the company has recently experienced and how these events and reactions should inform its social impact initiatives and branding strategy moving forward.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Examine and describe the Tony’s Chocolonely business model as an impact organization.
  • Understand the systemic issue of modern slavery within the chocolate industry.
  • Compare and contrast the benefits of changing an industry by working with existing large companies who may perpetuate unsustainable/unethical practices versus developing products in-house to guarantee sustainable/ethical practices.
  • Identify opportunities for collaboration with peers to address industry challenges.
  • Apply the concepts of greenwashing and bluewashing to debate the use of social issues in marketing.
  • Evaluate the importance of certifications and ethical lists to help consumers make ethical and sustainable purchases.