The Hershey Company has announced a significant expansion of its Cocoa For Good program, committing to 100% direct-sourced cocoa in high-risk areas by 2025, mainly Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.
A majority of the world’s cocoa comes from West Africa, where poverty is the biggest cause of labor issues. Cocoa farmers face challenges such as a lack of local infrastructure, the impacts of climate change on agriculture, and the ability to find workers for small family farms
Hershey said the expanded commitment will make cocoa from these countries traceable from the farm to the first point of purchase, giving the company a clear line of sight into where all of its cocoa from West Africa is grown and how it is produced – providing more transparency for consumers and stakeholders.
“By purchasing all our cocoa as certified and sustainable, we directly support higher incomes for farmers and improve labor and environmental standards,” said Jeff King, senior director of Global sustainability and social impact.
“We recognize, however that certification is not enough. Transitioning to 100% direct cocoa sourcing for these high-risk areas gives us more transparency into our cocoa supply chain and enables us to provide more support to farmers and scale-up programs such as Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation (CLMRS) to 100% of our Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana -sourced cocoa by 2025 to help end child labor.”
Sustainable cocoa by 2020
In 2012, as part of the company’s long-standing efforts to create more sustainable cocoa communities, Hershey committed to sourcing 100% certified and sustainable cocoa by 2020 – a goal it reached in January 2020.
Hershey launched its Cocoa For Good in April 2018, furthering its cocoa efforts by investing $500m by 2030 to nourish children, empower youth, build prosperous communities and preserve natural ecosystems. The expanded program doubles down on these four key areas.
“We are committed to making these important changes, and while we know it will take time, we are confident that together with our communities, suppliers, governments and industry partners we can make a positive difference to reassure consumers who love our products and look to us for moments of goodness in their lives,” said Hershey’s Chris Abbott, senior director of cocoa strategic sourcing.