Hershey to meet 100% cocoa sourcing standard by 2020November 2012
US chocolate maker Hershey has committed itself to sourcing all of its cocoa according to certified international labour, environmental and farming standards by 2020.
Just over two-thirds of all cocoa is grown in west Africa, with 5% sourced from certified producers. Hershey believes its commitment, as the largest chocolate maker in the US, will help drive this figure higher.
Hershey’s 2020 certification target follows a similar decision by rival Mars. But some smaller chocolate companies have not only already taken this step but are also Fairtrade certified, a move being urged on Hershey by the Green America-led coalition, the Raise the Bar Hershey! Campaign.
However, Hershey’s certification drive fits with plans, announced earlier this year, to invest $10m (£6.2m, €7.7m) in west Africa over the next five years as part of an ‘expansion and acceleration’ of its farmer and community development work in the region.
Included in this is the expansion of CocoaLink, a farmer outreach program that uses mobile voice and SMS text messages to send cocoa farmers important information about improving farming practices, safety, child labour, health, crop disease prevention, post-harvest production and crop marketing.
The company has also launched the Hershey Learn to Grow farm program to provide farmers in Ghana with information on best practices in sustainable cocoa farming.
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