Huel x Tony's Open Chain: How to Source Sustainable and Ethical Cocoa

As part of our commitment to building a sustainable food system, Huel is proud to partner with chocolate makers and B Corp brand, Tony's Chocolonely.

The partnership seeks to revolutionize the cocoa sourcing practices in the food industry and ensure that Huel's products are made with cocoa that supports farmers to earn a living income, eradicate illegal labor and stop deforestation.

What is Tony's Open Chain?

In an unjust cocoa industry, with continual poverty driving the use of child labor and environmental devastation, Tony's is taking a stand. 

Tony’s Open Chain was launched in 2019, as an open supply chain for companies that share its mission to end modern slavery and the use of child labor in the cocoa industry.  It's a very select group of Mission Allies that includes Ben & Jerry's, ALDI, and... Huel.

Chief of Impact and Operations at Tony’s Chocolonely, Pascal Baltussen, says: “At Tony’s Open Chain we envision a future where cocoa farmers in Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana earn a living income, child labor is eradicated, and deforestation is stopped. The five sourcing principles that Tony’s Open Chain has implemented over the past 10 years is showing that this future is feasible, the biggest driver for change is scale. 

The 5 key principles of Tony's Open Chain

Traceable beans

The first key principle of Tony's Open Chain is traceable beans. There must be a link between the beans sourced, the conditions under which they're sourced, and the bars sold. 

Tony's has a number of tools to help here, including a digital 'Beantracker' to trace every bean.

Living wage

It's also important that companies pay an additional premium on top of the certified bean price to enable farmers to earn a living income and run their farms. Tony's uses a calculation model to help here.

Stronger farmers

Allies also commit to buying from and co-developing professional cooperatives as service providers for serious farmers. This involves direct contact with the farmers to help them grow their business. We're better together.

The long term

This isn't a short-term fix. By becoming a Tony's ally, Huel is agreeing to protect farmers' future incomes by signing longer-term purchasing agreements at a minimum of 5 years.

Productivity & quality

As part of Tony's Open Chain, the farmers we work with will also undertake productivity, diversification, and quality programs to improve their yield (without increasing illegal labor).

What else is Huel doing?

The collaboration is an exciting next step in Huel’s goal to only work with suppliers that share the same values and goals. Huel requires all their suppliers to sign a contractually-binding Sustainability Code of Conduct for the protection of human rights and welfare. We also require our suppliers to hold an independently verified, internationally recognized ethical certification.

We're also committed to reaching a Net Zero target by reducing greenhouse gas emissions across its business operations and ensuring that the carbon footprint of each individual product is aligned with limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees.

With the food system responsible for over a third of global greenhouse gas emissions, changing our diets is one of the most straightforward and significant means to effectively decrease emissions. By ensuring that each meal maintains a carbon footprint of approximately 0.5kg CO2e or less, Huel is committed to making all their meals achieve this objective. 

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