HERSHEY, Pa., Feb. 01, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY) announced today it has made a commitment to no new deforestation in its global cocoa supply chain.  This commitment is aimed at stopping ongoing deforestation and protecting forests in the cocoa-growing regions where the company sources its cocoa.   

The commitment includes two fundamental components:

  • No new deforestation for cocoa through a strict commitment not to source cocoa from anywhere in the world where new deforestation has occurred, effective immediately.
  • Agroforestry to support shade-grown cocoa through tree planting programs.  

Hershey is committed to achieving these commitments through its own forest initiatives and its work with the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) and its Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI), an industry commitment announced in 2017 to protect and help restore forests and support sustainable cocoa production and farmer livelihoods.   

Hershey’s commitments will help protect forests in two ways:

  • Helping to stop the illegal deforestation that has been occurring for decades, especially in National Parks and Reserves, and
  • Helping to rejuvenate forests impacted by farming activities. 

With today’s announcement, Hershey will develop a comprehensive forestry plan in 2018 to outline its agroforestry programs, tree-planting goals, supplier guidelines and monitoring, and timelines to achieve its forest protection and reforestation goals.  The comprehensive plan will be completed and publicly shared before the end of 2018. 

“Deforestation in cocoa regions must end and every stakeholder in the cocoa supply chain needs to work together to protect the forests for future generations,” said Susanna Zhu, Chief Procurement Officer at The Hershey Company. “We are committed to working with local governments and civil society to strike the right balance between producing cocoa for the world and conserving the precious natural ecosystem.”      

About The Hershey Company

The Hershey Company, headquartered in Hershey, Pa., 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 in need. Hershey has approximately 18,000 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 more than $7.4 billion in annual revenues, including such iconic brand names as Hershey's, Reese's, Kit Kat, Jolly Rancher and Ice Breakers and SkinnyPop. 

For more than 120 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 giving underserved children the skills and support they need to be successful. Today, the company continues this social purpose through 'Nourishing Minds,' a global initiative that provides basic nutrition to help children learn and grow.

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Media Contact:
Jeff Beckman
717-534-8090
jbeckman@hersheys.com