The Hershey Company has announced new plans through the Cocoa & Forest Initiative (CFI) to help protect forests and restore forest cover in the cocoa growing regions in West Africa.
In February 2018, Hershey publicly committed to no new deforestation in its cocoa supply chain, effective immediately, and to implement agroforestry tree planting programs. The new CFI forest protection plans for the two largest cocoa-producing countries in West Africa – Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire – step up Hershey’s forestry commitments with specific actions to end deforestation and begin restoring forests.
Cocoa For Good
Hershey is a founding member of the CFI, and its action plans will be delivered through its Cocoa For Good sustainable cocoa strategy, announced in April 2018. The plans focus on sensitive forest areas and are designed to inhibit encroachment on these protected areas by implementing locally tailored development programs.
“Cocoa, the key ingredient in chocolate, is beloved by people around the world,” said Beatrice Moulianitaki, head of sustainable sourcing. “We want to ensure that this cherished product continues to be available for a growing number of consumers worldwide without damaging the forests close to where most of the world’s cocoa is grown. With the proper care and resources, we are confident that cocoa can continue to grow while protecting sensitive forests and habitats in the region.”
Hershey says its CFI action plans are organized under three strategic pillars: Forest Protection and Restoration; Sustainable Production and Farmers’ Livelihood; Community Engagement and Social Inclusion.
Its plans include:
- Distributing 900,000 multi-purpose trees to farms in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire by 2022
- Distributing more than 2.5 million improved cocoa seedlings to farmers in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire by 2022
- Satellite mapping of 50,000 farms across Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire in the Hershey supply chain by 2019
The company says its agroforestry programs have already distributed more than 3.5 million cocoa trees and about 320,000 shade trees in West Africa between 2013 and 2017.
Hershey also announced it will continue to review, expand and improve current programs to meet its CFI 2022 goals.