The story and impact of an unusual chocolate bar - Ben Greensmith, UK, Lord Chocolonely III

Published on: 18th August, 2022

“If people are aware… they can make a conscious choice.” 

When enjoying a delicious chocolate treat, like most, it’s unlikely you’ve pondered where the cocoa comes from, whether farmers have been paid fairly, or whether production is fuelled by child labour and modern slavery. The reality is that 1.6M children are working illegally on chocolate farms in Africa - and a minimum of 30,000 are kept as modern slaves. Sobering statistics that broadly haven’t changed that much over decades, and even centuries.

The good news is, Tony’s Chocolonely exists to change this.

In this podcast, Ben Greensmith, Lord Chocolonely III and UK and Ireland Country Manager for Tony’s Chocolonely, takes us back to 2003 and walks us through the inspiring backstory of how a curious and incensed journalist prosecuting himself in court led him to courageously take on the chocolate industry - building a brand and movement, that has become a leading exemplar of how chocolate can be produced ethically, sustainably and still profitably.

We discuss the crucial role business plays in solving some of the major issues we face as a society - and the role of marketing, particularly when it comes to consumer awareness. As Ben shares… “If people are aware…they can make a conscious choice’.

We also discuss levels of transparency across the industry - and how there are just too many empty promises and self-accreditations that are simply ‘greenwash’ - duping people into thinking they’re making better choices.

A key challenge is that there is currently no legislation around accountability and responsibility around traceability of where cocoa comes from. Ben shares how Tony’s have created a solution, their ‘5 Sourcing Principles’, a solution that they’re keen to help anyone copy.

Ben agrees fully with our sentiment that as marketers we need to be aware of the landscape we operate in and encourages marketers to be curious about the work they’re doing and supporting, encouraging marketers to do research, ask question - as he shares…

“In 40 years time, I want to be able to look back and be proud that I used my time and what I’m good at to make a difference.”

He also reminds us all not to forget just how powerful we are - every penny we spend and who we spend it with is a vote for how we want the future to be.

"Don’t think you’re too small to make a difference.”

This is truly eye-opening, inspirational and grounding discussion. Tune in… you’ll love it, probably as much as we love their chocolate. Yum ;)

More information about the wonderful work, products and movement here: https://tonyschocolonely.com/uk/en

Our podcasts are recorded purely via online conferencing platforms, we apologise for any minor sound quality issues.

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About the Podcast

The Marketing Society podcast
The Marketing Society is a progressive global community of senior marketers. Our purpose is to empower our members to be brave leaders. Since 1959, we have grown into an influential network of 2500 members.
The Marketing Society is a progressive global community of senior marketers. Our purpose is to empower our members to be brave leaders. Since 1959, we have grown into an influential network of more than 2650+ members across our global hubs: London, Scotland, Hong Kong, Singapore, UAE and New York. Our members are mostly senior clients (over seventy per cent) from brands such as ASOS, Barclays, IBM, Disney, HSBC, Mars, Samsung, Unilever and Vodafone.

Everything we do is through a brave lens – pushing boundaries, tackling taboos, providing comfortable spaces to have important conversations and building meaningful connections. We speak up, inspire one another, share best practice and discuss the challenges and opportunities we face. We work together to make our industry better for business and better for the world around us.

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