Sweet taste of success as City Hearts announces partnership with leading slavery-free chocolate brand, Tony’s Chocolonely

City Hearts supporter Brian Gregory with the year’s supply of Tony’s Chocolonely bars he won earlier in 2021 for raising the most money during a fundraising event for City Hearts.

City Hearts Health and Wellbeing team member Sami Rose, with the chocolate donation from Tony’s, that will be given to City Hearts clients as gifts this Christmas.

City Hearts, the Sheffield/Liverpool headquartered anti-trafficking charity, has announced the sweetest of partnerships with the world’s only guaranteed slavery-free chocolate brand, Tony’s Chocolonely.

City Hearts, which supports survivors of slavery from across the UK, is on a mission to restore the lives of those affected by exploitation. Tony’s is a chocolate brand on a mission to remove modern slavery from the cocoa supply chain. 

Around 1.5million children are currently working in the chocolate supply chain across the world, the majority of whom are exploited in West Africa. City Hearts, which operates primarily across the north of England, also runs programmes in Ghana, where Tony’s is working to prevent modern day slavery at source.

It was this meeting of minds that encouraged Phil Clayton, Head of Innovation and Development at City Hearts, to approach Tony’s Chocolonely’s, about a partnership. 

“When traumatised slavery survivors arrive at our safe houses around the UK, most often with nothing but the clothes they stand up in, our case workers rush to make them feel safe and welcomed,” he said.

“As well as fresh clothes, new toiletries, and a safe place to sleep, they will put a bar of chocolate on their pillow. This shows them that they are special, and they are being supported by people who care.

“When the UK Director of Tony’s heard about what we do, the organisation immediately made a commitment to support us by providing chocolate for each survivor, as well as regular gifts for clients, and prizes for our fundraisers.”

As the only worldwide brand in the £100bn chocolate business which is guaranteed slavery-free, Tony’s Chocolonely say they exist to show there’s a way to make chocolate profitably, which doesn’t involve the exploitation of West African communities. 60% of the world’s chocolate comes from Ghana and the Ivory Coast of West Africa.

Ben Greensmith, UK Director of Tony’s Chocolonely said: “Because big companies pay so little for their cocoa, there are massive supply chain problems. 1.5 million children are working on cocoa farms to make the chocolate we enjoy. 

Tony’s look for like-minded partners such as City Hearts, and consumers who like what we do. We are deliberately a commercial organisation, not an NGO to demonstrate to big companies it is possible to make delicious ethical chocolate and profit. 

We have the Chocolonely Foundation through which 1% of our net revenue supports projects in Ghana and the Ivory Coast. We believe there is no place in any industry, country or market for modern-day slavery. And we support with chocolate wherever we can to brighten lives.

We want to 100% support anyone who shares our values, that’s why we are proud to support the fantastic work City Hearts do. Putting a bar on the pillow of each human trafficking survivor who arrives at a City Hearts safe house, shows that chocolate should be something that can be enjoyed by everyone across the world. If a bit of Tony’s chocolate makes someone’s life sweeter, we’re in!”