• Flanders Investment & Trade
  • Invest in Flanders
After thoroughly optimizing and automating its production processes, Tony’s Chocolonely will now invest another EUR 4 million in its Borsbeek factory in Flanders. The goal? Increase the annual capacity to 8,000 or 9,000 tons, and export more Belgian chocolate around the globe. Above all else, though, the chocolate maker hopes to eradicate the child labor that still plagues the sector to this day.

Expand on previous improvements

Tony’s Chocolonely is the fastest-growing chocolate maker in the world. In the most recent financial year, the confectioner realized a net profit of EUR 73,000, and increased sales by 21 percent – to a whopping EUR 133 million. But while the company may be Dutch, its owners and factories are firmly rooted in Flanders’ flourishing food industry. The Borsbeek facility collaborates with other manufacturers in Tienen and Turnhout, using chocolate from the Barry Callebaut plant in Wieze.

Earlier this year, the Borsbeek factory’s annual production capacity had already been increased from 4,200 to 7,000 tons. To make that happen, Tony’s Chocolonely invested more than EUR 2 million in a new production line, machines, and automation. Its headcount grew from 17 to 40 employees.

The new investment of another EUR 4 million will further build on those improvements. “We aim to achieve an annual production of 8,000 to 9,000 tons,” says Wouter de Vries, director of the Tony’s factory in Borsbeek.

Setting the (chocolate) bar high

As a consequence, Tony’s Chocolonely’s production partners in Flanders can count on even more orders in the near future. So, even though the company plans to build a factory in the United States, Belgian chocolate will still be shipped worldwide in massive quantities. “Not all our products are made in our factory in Flanders,” says De Vries. “But our most popular bar – caramel and sea salt – is only produced here.”

Most importantly, the investment in the Borsbeek factory will contribute to Tony’s Chocolonely’s ultimate mission: eliminate child labor in the industry and sell 100% slavery-free chocolate. The company already rewards its cocoa farmers with bonuses (EUR 6.5 million in 2022), but endeavors to pay each one of them an actual income in the long run.

We want to show that it's possible to do business in our sector in a sustainable way.

Douglas Lamont
CEO of Tony’s Chocolonely

Last year alone, Tony’s Chocolonely’s solved 653 cases of child labor. With the new investment, the confectioner keeps focusing on Flanders as the heart of its globalization efforts, solving child labor one chocolate bar at a time. 

Reported by
newspaper De Tijd

Share this article article

Recent news & stories