Hershey surpasses 2013 cocoa sustainability goal

by Jeff Gelski
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HERSHEY, PA. — The Hershey Co. on Jan. 28 said 18% of all the cocoa it sourced globally in 2013 was certified, which was better than its original goal of 10% for the year. Hershey turns to such organizations as UTZ Certified, Fair Trade USA and Rainforest Alliance Certified to certify its cocoa.

Hershey said it was on track to meet its goal of sourcing 100% certified cocoa by 2020. The next goal is to have between 40% and 50% of all cocoa purchased globally certified by 2016.

“This is just one of many initiatives through local N.G.O.s, national governments and development agencies to address child labor and improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers around the world,” said Terence O’Day, senior vice-president and chief supply chain officer of Hershey. “These projects include leadership and economic training for women farmers, literacy, health and farm safety programs as well as the recent opening of a Hershey-supported primary school in western Ivory Coast.”

All 100% of the cocoa in Hershey’s Scharffen Berger brand products now comes from farms certified by Rainforest Alliance Certified, the company added. The brand joins two other Hershey’s brands, Hershey’s Bliss chocolates and Dagoba organic chocolate, as 100% certified.

Hershey’s 21st Century Cocoa Sustainable Strategy seeks to modernize cocoa farming for the 2 million farmers in western Africa.

“Our program’s focus is on educating cocoa farmers as well as the larger farm community, including school-aged children,” Mr. O’Day said. “Sustainable cocoa farming depends on teaching farmers about modern farming practices and appropriate social practices.”
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