Way to go, Hershey!
This is simply a reiteration of an announcement made back in October, 2012. However, it is a big deal without a lot of press, so Fair Trade Atlanta wants to make sure as many people know about it as possible.
Hershey has made a concrete commitment to have its cocoa sourced from 100% certified sustainable (slave-free) sources by 2020. Obviously, this is still a long way off, and people are still being exploited. However, this commitment shows that one of the largest chocolate companies is listening to consumers, proof positive that Atlanta can eventually be a city free of slaves and free of slave-made goods. Below is the full article from the Central Penn Business Journal.
The Hershey Co. said today it will buy 100 percent of its cocoa for chocolate production from certified sustainable sources by 2020, a more aggressive move toward sustainable production that builds off an announcement in January.
“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,” Hershey President and CEO John P. Bilbrey said in statement. “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 2020.”
The Dauphin County-based candy and chocolate company said the cocoa will be certified through independent auditors to assure it was grown in line with the highest international standards for labor, environmental and better farming practices.
As Hershey increases its sustainable cocoa purchases, it will also invest more in community-based programs to improve the lives of people in West African countries, where most of the world’s cocoa is grown, according to the company. Those projects include village school construction, mobile phone farmer messaging, literacy and health programs, and training in modern farming techniques.
In January, Hershey announced it would use certified cocoa from Rainforest Alliance-certified farms for its Bliss and Dagoba products, as well as invest $10 million over five yearsinto African communities for social and economic programs.
Hershey, based in Derry Township, trades its shares on theNew York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol HSY.