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Dutch confectionary  company, Tony’s Chocoloney (“Tony’s”), is facing legal action from the manufacturer of Milka, Mondelez International, following the release of Tony’s recent campaign in Austria and Germany which draws attention to the alleged use of child labour in the chocolate industry.

Tony’s launched four limited edition chocolate wrappers in Germany and Austria which appear to look strikingly similar to wrappers used on the Milka, Twix and KitKat cholcolate bars, and also the Ferrero Rocher packaging. It is alleged that Tony’s aim is to highlight the fact that “most big chocolate companies don’t pay a living income price for their cocoa, resulting in exploitation on cocoa farms, with 1.56 million children involved in child labour”.

Mondelez, the manufacturer of Milka, responded with a trade mark infringement claim in relation to Tony’s use of the Milka lilac colour, for which it claims to own a colour trade mark. Subsequently, Tony’s has chosen to replace the lilac packaging with a grey design. Tony’s has also used the legal dispute as a means to draw further attention to the issues within the industry through the phrase ‘pay farmers, not lawyers’.

It is to be seen how this matter will play out.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniels Law on 0191 281 4000 or legal@mcdanielslaw.com.

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