Valentine's day looms. Chocolate is on your mind. So we are pleased that the prestigious "International Brands with a Conscience Award 2008" reminds us to remind you of the incredible story behind Tony's Chocolonely chocolates. You may remember that Tony's slavefree chocolate attracted attention due to founder Teun van de Keuken's remarkable attempts to publicize the bitter truth about chocolate. Van de Keuken tried to force Dutch authorities to prosecute him for buying and eating chocolate in violation of Dutch law that makes it illegal to receive goods that have been obtained unlawfully.Van de Keuken failed to get a jail sentence and rouse active protest, but in true TreeHugger style, he has developed Tony's Chocolonely and now sells humane candy bars in several Dutch supermarket chains, giving consumers the choice to buy right. And consumers need not suffer for their choice: Chocolonely chocolate letters, a Dutch holiday treat, won a double blind taste test on the Dutch television program Llinke Soep. International customers can order the bars in boxes of 30 each, milk or dark chocolate, at the Chocolonely website.
Van de Keuken's response to the award is quoted at people planet profit:
As a small Dutch chocolate producer, we are absolutely dumbstruck when we look at the huge international organizations that have won this award. The international recognition is fantastic and we really need it. I hope that this award helps to really focus the spotlight on the abuses in the cocoa industry, both in Holland and abroad.
The Medinge Group, which is behind the International Brands with a Conscience Award, seeks to recognize companies that demonstrate that it "is possible for brands to succeed as they contribute to the betterment of the society by sustainable, socially responsible and humanistic behaviour." In addition to Tony's Chocolonely, companies receiving the 2008 award are:
- Hennes & Mauritz
- Happy Computers
- International Watch Co.
- Pret a Manger
- Dame Anita Roddick
For more great ideas for your special day, don't forget to check out the TreeHugger Valentine gift guide.