Hershey’s debut is hit by spoiler tacticsDecember 2010
A group of NGOs has released an alternative CSR report on the activities of the multinational confectioner Hershey’s, simultaneously with the publication of the company’s own first corporate responsibility report.
Hershey’s document, detailing the group’s work on various issues, from supply chain management to environmental programmes, was immediately countered last month by Time to raise the bar: the real CSR report for the Hershey company, from the International Labor Rights Forum, Global Exchange, Green America and the anti-trafficking organization Oasis USA.
The move is unusual but not unique – Shell, among a handful of other companies, has been the target of similar alternative CSR reports in the past.
The unofficial Hershey’s report makes allegations about the US-based company’s involvement in child labour, forced labour and human trafficking in West Africa, where it sources much of its cocoa.
The 42-page document claims that even in a sector not noted for making much progress on CSR, Hershey’s ‘stands out as a laggard in terms of its supply chain responsibility practices’, while other chocolate companies have at least started purchasing cocoa certified in accordance with various standards.
It suggests policy improvements, saying Hershey’s should start buying certified fair trade cocoa immediately, and that it should make structural changes to its operations to ensure farmers get a consistently better price.
Hershey’s has not responded to the NGO report.
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