Hershey has spent $777,000 on lobbying so far this year, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. See HERE.
Foreign Market access
It has put some of this money towards improving foreign market access.
Jeff Beckman, head of corporate communications at Hershey told ConfectioneryNews.com: “Hershey provides various perspectives from time to time to legislators on a number of topics that are relevant to our business. For example, foreign market access is relevant as we focus on growing our business globally.”
Hershey plans to open another factory in Asia, with China the likeliest location. It also recently formed its own Indian subsidiary after ending a joint venture with domestic firm Godrej.
Mexico and Brazil have also been identified as core growth engines for Hershey outside the US and Canada.
Free Market Sugar
Hershey’s most frequently lobbied bill this year has been the Free Market Sugar Act, which seeks to repeal the sugar price support program and marketing allotments for sugar.
Beckman said: “The Hershey Company has joined with the broader food and confection industries through our major trade associations – Grocery Manufacturers Association , National Confectioners Association , and the Sweetener Users Association – to seek reforms on the U.S. sugar price support program that dates back to the U.S. Depression in the 1930s.”
The Free Market Sugar bill is currently at Committee stage after being introduced on April last year.
Food Advertising & Marketing
Hershey has also employed politicking tactics over obesity concerns that are impacting food advertising and marketing rules.
Asked about the changes Hershey was hoping for, Beckman said: “We have long been part of industry efforts around focusing on wellness issues. We are a member the Children’s Advertising Review Unit of the Better Business Bureau and the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, which includes our commitment to not advertise to children under 12.”
One of the two lobbyists used by Hershey this year has previously held a government job. Hershey lobbyist Eileen Harley is ex-professional staff at the House Rules Committee.