2020 Commitment Complements Established Hershey Programs to Reduce
Child Labor and Improve Cocoa Communities in West Africa
The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) today said it will source 100 percent
certified cocoa for its global chocolate product lines by 2020
and accelerate its programs to help eliminate child labor in the cocoa
regions of West Africa.
Certified cocoa will be verified through independent auditors to assure
that it is grown in line with the highest internationally recognized
standards for labor, environmental and better farming practices. As
Hershey increases its use of certified cocoa, the company will also
continue to support community-based programs with local African
partners, national governments and development agencies. These projects
include village school construction, mobile phone farmer messaging,
literacy and health programs and training in modern farming techniques.
Currently, certified cocoa accounts for less than five percent of the
world's cocoa supply. As the largest chocolate manufacturer in North
America, Hershey believes its 2020 purchasing commitment should
significantly expand the global supply of certified cocoa, particularly
from West Africa, which produces about 70 percent of the world's cocoa.
"Consistent with Hershey's values, we are directly addressing the
economic and social issues that impact West Africa's two million cocoa
farmers and families," said J.P. Bilbrey, president and chief executive
officer, The Hershey Company. "Expanding the use of certified cocoa
across our iconic chocolate brands while working with public and private
partners, demonstrates Hershey's responsible sourcing practices. I am
confident that we can make a substantial difference in West Africa by
As announced earlier this year, Hershey's Bliss chocolates will
be Rainforest Alliance certified and available to consumers by year end.
Hershey's Dagoba organic chocolate is currently 100 percent
Rainforest Alliance certified. Hershey also said today that its Scharffen
Berger brand will source 100 percent certified cocoa by the end of
Hershey has set a community programming target to reach more than two
million West Africans in cocoa villages through its public/private
partnerships and programs, including:
The U.S. Department of Labor's Framework of Action to eliminate the
worst forms of child labor in the cocoa industry in Ghana and Cote
United Nations International Labor Organization
World Cocoa Foundation projects, including Cocoa Livelihoods Program
with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other companies
United States Agency for International Development
Development of the world's first mobile phone network - CocoaLink
- for cocoa farmers in West Africa. The program is already
successfully operating in Ghana and Hershey will launch CocoaLink in
Ivory Coast in 2013.
The HERSHEY LEARN TO GROW farmer and family development center
is assisting 25 community-based farmer organizations in central Ghana.
For more information about Hershey's cocoa sustainability programs in
West Africa, please see: www.HersheyCocoaSustainability.com.
About The Hershey Company
The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) is the largest producer of quality
chocolate in North America and a global leader in chocolate and sugar
confectionery. Headquartered in Hershey, Pa., The Hershey Company has
operations throughout the world and approximately 14,000 employees. With
revenues of more than $6 billion, Hershey offers confectionery products
under more than 80 brand names, including such iconic brands as Hershey's,
Reese's, Hershey's Kisses, Hershey's Bliss,
Hershey's Special Dark, Kit Kat, Twizzlers, Jolly
Rancher and Ice Breakers. Hershey also offers premium and
artisan chocolate products under such brands as Scharffen Berger
and Dagoba through the Artisan Confections Company, a wholly
owned subsidiary. The company is focused on growing its presence in key
international markets such as China and Mexico while continuing to build
its competitive advantage in the United States and Canada.
For more than 100 years, The Hershey Company has been a leader in making
a positive difference in the communities where its employees live, work
and do business. Corporate Social Responsibility is an integral part of
the company's global business strategy, which includes goals and
priorities focused on fair and ethical business dealings, environmental
stewardship, fostering a desirable workplace for employees, and
positively impacting society and local communities. Milton Hershey
School, established in 1909 by the company's founder and administered by
Hershey Trust Company, provides a quality education, housing, and
medical care at no cost to children in social and financial need.
Students of Milton Hershey School are direct beneficiaries of The
Hershey Company's success.
The Hershey Company