Teun van de Keuken

Teun van de Keuken  | PepTalk Expert Speaker
Teun van de Keuken  | PepTalk Expert Speaker
Speaker, Tony's Chocolonely Founder, Activist, Journalist, Author
Amsterdam
Gain insights into ethical entrepreneurship and the power of media for social change with Teun van de Keuken, speaker, journalist and founder of Tony's Chocolonely.
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Teun van de Keuken  | PepTalk Expert Speaker
Teun van de Keuken  | PepTalk Expert Speaker
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Teun van de Keuken | Speaker Biography

Founded Tony’s Chocolonely, a brand fighting slave labor in chocolate production
Dutch journalist known for investigative TV show Keuringsdienst van Waarde
Co-hosts podcasts and writes columns, focusing on ethical living and consumerism

Teun van de Keuken is a Dutch journalist, writer, columnist, podcaster, and television programme maker, who is known for his impactful work. Disturbed by the widespread use of slave labour in chocolate production, Teun initiated a series of investigative reports in 2003 on his TV show, Keuringsdienst van Waarde. His attempts to incite change included a personal request to be prosecuted for buying products linked to slave labour, yet meaningful reform was not achieved. 

In response, he founded Tony’s Chocolonely in 2006, a chocolate brand committed to ethical production, selling 20,000 bars within two days of its launch. The name arises from the fact Teun felt very lonely in his battle against slavery in the chocolate industry, so he called his company 'Tony's Chocolonely'. Tony’s Chocolonely has faced numerous challenges, including legal and ethical issues. In 2007, while a Dutch court confirmed the brand's commitment to slave-free manufacturing, the show was fined €20,000 for excessive advertising that benefited Tony’s financially. In 2010, after uncovering child labour in Turkish hazelnut farms, Tony’s switched to Dutch suppliers, which helped increase its market share significantly in the Netherlands. In 2011, Henk Jan Beltman took over as the majority shareholder, and under his leadership, the brand achieved full traceability for its cocoa mass by 2013 and cocoa butter by 2016. Tony’s then expanded internationally, breaking into the U.S. market in 2015 and moving its headquarters from Portland, Oregon, to New York in 2020. By 2018, Tony’s commanded a 19% market share in the Netherlands and had expanded its presence across several European countries. Despite its growth, Tony’s faced setbacks in 2021 when it was removed from the Slave Free Chocolate list due to its association with Barry Callebaut, which had unresolved child labour issues. In 2024, Tony’s was involved in legal action in Germany over an advertising campaign that used imagery similar to that of famous brands to spotlight child labour issues in the cocoa industry, which led to a lawsuit from Mondelez International. 

Beyond his role at Tony’s Chocolonely and Keuringsdienst van Waarde, Teun is an active content creator. He co-hosts the weekly podcast Teun and Gijs Tell Everything with Gijs Groenteman and the culinary podcast Etenstijd! with Yvette van Boven. He has also co-founded the podcast company 'Meer van dit' and writes a weekly column for 'de Volkskrant', having previously written for 'Het Parool'. His other television projects include investigative series like Pointer, De Slag om de Klerewereld, and The Battle of the Netherlands. Teun’s literary contributions include his 2015 debut Pure and Honest, which explores the dilemmas of ethical living; Goed Volk (2017), a novel inspired by his childhood; The Supermarket Survival Guide (2018), which offers practical shopping advice; and This is Not a Diet Book (2022), which evaluates popular diets. He began his career in journalism, working on radio shows such as OBA Live, MaDiWoDo, and Teun Vuur Gijs.

Why Should You Book Teun van de Keuken ?

Teun van de Keuken offers your team or business the unique opportunity to gain insights from a pioneering ethical entrepreneur and journalist. Learn from his impactful journey in combating slave labour in the chocolate industry, fostering ethical business practices, and driving meaningful change. Be inspired to innovate and lead responsibly.

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