Ben & Jerry's New Flavor Addresses The Controversial Chocolate Industry

In 2003, Dutch TV journalist Teun van de Keuken learned an uncomfortable truth. He read an article that explained that the modern cocoa industry relied on the labor of enslaved people. Horrified, Teun did some more research and discovered that not only are adults enslaved in the two largest cocoa-producing nations, Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire, but children are as well. Teun tried to publicize the appalling conditions for workers in the cocoa industry but failed to enlist many allies in his mission. In 2005, Teun produced his first chocolate bar, called Tony's (an Americanized version of his first name) Chocolonely. The bar was made with ethically sourced, traceable chocolate in an attempt to fight back at the exploitative industry.

What does Tony's Chocolonely have to do with Vermont ice cream producers Ben & Jerry's? Ben & Jerry's has a long philanthropic history, from the establishment of the Ben & Jerry's Foundation in 1985 to affiliations with Farm Aid and the Children's Defense Fund. A joint venture between like-minded Tony's Chocolonely and Ben & Jerry's makes perfect sense.

Take a bite of Chocolatey Love A-Fair

Coming soon, a two-part foray into ending the practice of slavery in the cocoa industry. Ben & Jerry's is launching a new ice cream flavor called Chocolatey Love A-Fair, which they describe as "chocolate ice cream packed with salted caramel swirls, chunks of salted caramel, and Open Chain fudge chunks," produced with Tony's Chocolonely. In addition, two new Tony's chocolate bars will be released, one made with dark milk chocolate and crunchy brownie pieces and the other a white cheesecake-style chocolate bar with strawberries and crumbly cookies.

press release states that all the chocolate ingredients will be sourced using Tony's Open Chain, which is a supply chain initiative that helps other manufacturers source cocoa beans from ethical producers. Chocolatey Love A-Fair intends to raise awareness about the problem of enslaved people in the cocoa industry, and Ben & Jerry's plans to convert all its chocolate sourcing to the Open Chain model. The new releases of ice cream and chocolate bars are limited, which means if you don't get them upon release, you may have to visit them in the Flavor Graveyard.