October 4, 2012
HERSHEY, Pa.The Hershey Company vowed it will source 100% certified cocoa for its global chocolate product lines by 2020 and accelerate its programs to help eliminate child labor in the cocoa regions of West Africa. Hershey also announced its Scharffen Berger brand will source 100% certified cocoa by the end of 2013.
Currently, certified cocoa accounts for less than 5% of the worlds cocoa supply. As the largest chocolate manufacturer in North America, Hershey believes its 2020 purchasing commitment should significantly expand the global supply of certified cocoa, particularly from West Africa, which produces about 70% of the worlds cocoa.
Certified cocoa will be verified through independent auditors to assure that it is grown in line with the highest internationally recognized standards for labor, environmental and better farming practices. As Hershey increases its use of certified cocoa, the company also will continue to support community-based programs with local African partners, national governments and development agencies. The projects include village school construction, mobile phone farmer messaging, literacy and health programs and training in modern farming techniques.
Consistent with Hersheys values, we are directly addressing the economic and social issues that impact West Africas two million cocoa farmers and families," said J.P. Bilbrey, president and CEO, The Hershey Company. Expanding the use of certified cocoa across our iconic chocolate brands, while working with public and private partners, demonstrates Hersheys responsible sourcing practices. I am confident that we can make a substantial difference in West Africa by 2020."
Earlier this year, the company announced its Hersheys Bliss chocolates will be Rainforest Alliance certified and available to consumers by year end. Hersheys Dagoba organic chocolate is currently 100% Rainforest Alliance certified.
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