Products of Change


Wed 13 Sep 2023 | by Rob Hutchins

Ben & Jerry's and Tony's Chocolonely named Best Sustainable Licensed Product of 2023

The licensing awards served up a delicious plate of sustainable innovation last night when the glamorous London event named Unilever’s Ben & Jerry’s x Tony’s Chocolonely Ice Cream and Chocolate the winner of the Best Sustainable Licensed Product award. In front of an audience of almost 1,300 industry executives gathered at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, comedian, presenter, and the host for the night, Tom Allen warmly welcomed the team to the stage to receive the coveted accolade, sponsored this year by BBC Studios. It was a hard-fought category in which the likes of the National Trust – and its partnership with the shoe brand Moshulu – went toe-to-toe with innovative partnerships from the Ashmolean Museum, Yazoo Kids, Story House Egmont, and more, each vying for the title of Best Sustainable Licensed Product 2023. Developed by the food and FMCG giant, Unilever, the winning partnership not only delivers a host of tantalising new flavours – including Ben & Jerry’s Chocolatey Love A-Fair based on Tony’s Chocolonely’s popular milk caramel sea salt bar – but a healthy dose of activism, too, through a campaign to end the chocolate industry’s links to modern slavery. In June this year, and following a successful year of rapid growth, Tony’s Chocolonely raised an additional €20m of capital from shareholders to accelerate the delivery of its mission to end exploitation in the cocoa industry. This money will be used to fund expansion in multiple markets and grow Tony’s Open Chain – its business-to-business ethical bean sourcing company. Tony’s growth mission comes with the underlying belief that the more bars and beans sold means more beans bought at a living income price making a more positive impact on the lives of cocoa farmers. Under the partnership, Ben & Jerry’s will begin converting its ice cream portfolio to Tony’s Open Chain and ensure a fully traceable cocoa supply chain. “This collaboration not only created a delicious tasting Chocolatey Love A-Fair between two well-loved and respected companies, but it is also raising awareness about a serious mission, with Ben & Jerry’s and Tony’s Chocolonely joining forces to make chocolate 100% slave free,” said the Unilever team. Tony’s Chocolonely was founded in 2005 by three journalists from the Dutch TV show Keuringsdienst van Waarde after they discovered the world’s largest chocolate manufacturers were buying cocoa from plantations that used child labour and modern slavery. Since then, the brand has dedicated its efforts to raising awareness of and eliminating inequality in the chocolate industry. It does so by building direct, long-term relationships with cocoa farmers in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, paying them a higher price and working together to solve the underlying causes of modern slavery and child labour.