The annual event honours the country’s cocoa farmers, raises national awareness about the cocoa sector and the important role it plays in Cote d’Ivoire’s economy, as well as showcasing business opportunities for local processing of cocoa, including through artisanal chocolate making.
“Our partnerships in Cote d'Ivoire are some of the most pivotal in our global supply chain,” said Tricia Brannigan, Vice President, Chief Procurement Officer at The Hershey Company. “I’ve had the opportunity this week to meet with government leaders, our supply partners as well as development experts and cocoa-farming families in their communities. I couldn’t be prouder of the collaboration across these stakeholders, culminating in today’s event celebrating the cocoa sector and Côte d'Ivoire’s talented artisanal chocolatiers.”
There was further good news this week for the country’s cocoa farmers with above-average rain mixed with plenty of sun to help extend the October-to-March main crop and improve bean quality.
Cote d’Ivoire is the world’s top cocoa producer and is in its rainy season which runs from April to mid-November.
Hershey’s presence at the celebrations in Abidjan concluded a week-long trip by company executives who met with partners, cocoa farmers and government leaders. Last month, Hershey donated more than a million servings of Grow Nut, a children’s nutritional supplement, to the Children of Africa Foundation, whose founding President is Cote d’Ivoire First Lady Dominique Ouattara.
“Multi-stakeholder collaboration is the key to continued progress in cocoa,” said Leigh Horner, Vice President of Global Sustainability at The Hershey Company. “In partnership with Côte d'Ivoire’s leadership, NGOs, peers in the cocoa sector and cocoa-growing communities, we aim to create long-lasting impact and mutual success.”
Cocoa for Good
Through Cocoa For Good, Hershey’s sustainable cocoa strategy and its pledge to invest $500 million in these communities by 2030, the company is working with experts across the cocoa sector to create a meaningful impact in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana.
It says the strategy is designed to address systemic social and environmental challenges in cocoa communities and help to create a resilient future. Cocoa For Good programmes and partnerships help to keep children in school, diversify and increase incomes, give farmers the support to build thriving businesses and protect forests.