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How You Can Help Fight Cocoa Slavery With Tasty Chocolate Banana Pancakes

Feel Good About Indulging In Sweet Chick's Banana Chocolate Pancakes

Who wouldn’t love a banana chocolate chip pancake for breakfast or as a sweet treat? For a limited time, Sweet Chick diners can not only indulge in a delectable, collaborative chocolate chip banana pancake, but help the campaign for a more equitable world economy with their purchase. Win-win, right?

Sweet Chick restaurant, home of noteworthy Southern dishes and delectable chicken and waffles, is teaming with Tony’s Chocolonely chocolate bars to bring the fluffy favorite to plates and the issue of inhuman farmer pay to public awareness. Now through Thursday, August 25, hungry pancake fans can order Tony’s Chocolate Banana Pancakes at Sweet Chick locations in metro New York City (Long Island City and Lower East Side) and Los Angeles’ Fairfax district. With every purchase, people will not only help Tony’s efforts to pay cocoa farmers fairly, but also receive a co-branded dark chocolate sea salt almond bar.

Sweet Chick x Tony's Chocolonely pancake and chocolate bar.
Sweet Chick

“When fans dig into sweet collaborations like the Sweet Chick x Tony’s Banana Pancakes, it not only impacts cocoa farmers in our supply chain, but also helps raise awareness of the issues in the chocolate industry, which in turn helps us make more impact,” Aidaly Sosa, head of Tony’s U.S. marketing, said in email.

John Seymour, founder of Sweet Chick, is all about building community and culture. Having collaborated with several prominent artists and creatives over the past decade, it made sense to enlist Tony’s to help responsibly source chocolate and enable an end to modern-day slave cocoa farming.

Tony’s claims to be “an impact company that makes chocolate, not the other way around.” The chocolate bar company’s mission is to eradicate child labor and modern slavery in the chocolate industry. The company’s efforts aim not for the entire industry, but one very specific part.

As Tony’s describes on its website, “the cocoa supply chain is shaped like an hourglass.” This begins at the top with millions of cocoa-producing growers and ends with billions of chocolate-loving consumers. The issue is at the hourglass’ throat where there only exist a few multinational firms who choke off the money that funnels to farmers.

These producers are paid just enough to cover poverty-level living conditions, which do not allow for growth. This expansion could easily happen with more modern equipment and added trees. Many farmers grow only up 30 to 40% of their possible yield because they can’t invest in upgrades. This keeps hundreds of thousands of farms under the thumb of a few distribution companies and trapped in poverty.

“Farmers in Ghana and Ivory Coast receive the farm gate price per kilo and are rarely encouraged to operate more professionally and improve the quality of their crop,” Tony’s notes.

One way of forcing these conglomerates to pass fair prices is for companies like Tony’s to demand cocoa that’s certified to have provided its growers living wages and fair labor. The challenge that arises, however, is that cocoa traders and processors buying raw goods don’t distinguish between certified and non-certified cocoa, according to the chocolate company.

“It’s all heaped together in one big pile and used by Western choco-giants. If you buy a bar of chocolate made with certified cocoa you know that somewhere in the world the equivalent quantity of certified beans was purchased. But they’re not necessarily in your bar,” Tony’s notes.

For Tony’s, certification is not enough. The company believes that chocolate makers should be responsible for the source and supply of its chocolate. Tony’s, for example, gets each chocolate bar ingredient according to its 5 Sourcing Principles — paying more for cocoa, traceable beans, working with strong farmers, improved quality and productivity, and long-term commitments — to achieve a direct impact on cocoa growers’ lives.

You can enjoy Tony’s chocolate banana pancakes now through August 25, contributing to making better lives across the planet for just $13. In the process, dive into brown, pillowed banana pancakes with fresh whipped cream and shaved dark chocolate on top. You’ll get a delicious treat and can feel good about where it came from.

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Matthew Denis
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Matt Denis is an on-the-go remote multimedia reporter, exploring arts, culture, and the existential in the Pacific Northwest…
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