Happy made him world famous.ampaigning chocolate company Tony’s Chocolonely has announced a long-term partnership with singer Pharrell Williams, whose hit
The chocolate company is supporting his Black Ambition programme for Black and Latin entrepreneurs, with the proceeds of a special-edition Tony’s Black Ambition chocolate bar.
In a statement, the company said inequalities in the US and West Africa stem from colonial and post-colonial power structures.
Pharrell Williams said, “Recent events and tragedies have illustrated the stark divisions in the American experience, and while entrepreneurship has long been a tenet of the American dream, marginalised people have faced long-standing barriers to success.
“With Black Ambition, the goal is to help strengthen the pipeline of talented entrepreneurs and close the opportunity and wealth gaps derived from limited access to capital and resources.”
Williams announced two prize competitions – The Black Ambition HBCU (historically black colleges and universities) Prize and The Black Ambition Prize – which culminate in one major national event.
The grand prize winner will receive up to US$1 million and at least nine additional teams will receive smaller prizes. Details on how to apply for the competitions are here.
Other partners in the Black Ambition programme include Adidas, Chanel, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the Visa Foundation.
Chocolate companies have failed to remove child labour and modern slavery from their supply chains, 20 years after committing to do so
Pharrell Williams discussed the partnership when he joined a Tony’s Chocolonely Stakeholder event on December 4th, livestreamed from Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam.
Others at the event included United Nations Agricultural Development Goodwill Ambassador Idris Elba, ‘doughnut economist’ Kate Raworth, and Utopia for Realists author Rutger Bregman.
The B-Corp chocolate company was founded in 2005 by three journalists from Dutch TV show Keuringsdienst van Waarde after they discovered that the world’s largest chocolate manufacturers were buying cocoa from plantations using illegal child labour and modern slavery.
According to the company, in 2001, the world’s eight biggest chocolate companies promised to eliminate the worst forms of child labour and modern slavery from their supply chains, by signing the Harkin-Engel protocol.
However, it says this protocol was designed only to prevent a compulsory “no child slavery” label for chocolate. It is a non-binding protocol, leading to no consequences for signatories failing to meet it.
Twenty years on, not one target of the protocol has been met. Tony Chocolonely is collecting signatures for a petition to Brussels, Washington and London seeking consequences for companies still using child and slave labour in their supply chains.