HERSHEY, Pa., May 27, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY) today announced an expansion of its Cocoa For Good program, committing to 100% direct-sourced cocoa in high-risk areas by 2025, which will include all of its cocoa sourced by its suppliers from Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. This expanded commitment will make Hershey’s cocoa from these countries traceable from the farm to the first point of purchase, giving Hershey a clear line of sight into where all of its cocoa from West Africa is grown and how it is produced – providing more transparency for consumers and all stakeholders.
In 2012, as part of the company’s long-standing efforts to create more sustainable cocoa communities, Hershey committed to sourcing 100% certified and sustainable cocoa by 2020 – a goal it reached in January 2020. Hershey launched its Cocoa For Good in April 2018, furthering its cocoa efforts by investing $500 million by 2030 to nourish children, empower youth, build prosperous communities and preserve natural ecosystems.
“By purchasing all our cocoa as certified and sustainable, we directly support higher incomes for farmers and improve labor and environmental standards,” said Jeff King, Senior Director of Global Sustainability and Social Impact. “We recognize, however that certification is not enough. Transitioning to 100% direct cocoa sourcing for these high-risk areas gives us more transparency into our cocoa supply chain and enables us to provide more support to farmers and scale-up programs such as Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation (CLMRS) to 100% of our Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana -sourced cocoa by 2025 to help end child labor.”
A majority of the world’s cocoa comes from West Africa, where poverty is the biggest cause of labor issues. Cocoa farmers face challenges such as a lack of local infrastructure, the impacts of climate change on agriculture, and the ability to find workers for small family farms. Hershey is driving transformational change to create a sustainable cocoa supply chain. This requires engaging and collaborating with stakeholders across sectors – farmers, government, suppliers, NGOs and peers – to overcome the challenges of how cocoa is bought and sold.
Hershey’s expanded Cocoa For Good program doubles down on its four key areas of Nourishing Children, Empowering Youth, Prospering Communities and Preserving Ecosystems. This encompasses:
“We are committed to making these important changes, and while we know it will take time, we are confident that together with our communities, suppliers, governments and industry partners we can make a positive difference to reassure consumers who love our products and look to us for moments of goodness in their lives,” said Hershey’s Chris Abbott, Senior Director of Cocoa Strategic Sourcing.
About The Hershey Company
The Hershey Company is headquartered in Hershey, Pa., and is an industry-leading snacks company known for bringing goodness to the world through its iconic brands, remarkable people and enduring commitment to help children succeed. Hershey has approximately 16,500 employees around the world who work every day to deliver delicious, quality products. The company has more than 80 brands around the world that drive $8 billion in annual revenues, including such iconic brand names as Hershey’s, Reese’s, Kit Kat, Jolly Rancher, Ice Breakers, SkinnyPop and Pirate’s Booty.
For more than 125 years, Hershey has been committed to operating fairly, ethically and sustainably. Hershey founder, Milton Hershey, created the Milton Hershey School in 1909 and since then the company has focused on helping children succeed.
To learn more visit www.thehersheycompany.com
The Hershey Company