Hershey Announces Milestones to Achieve 100% Certified Cocoa by
‘A Watershed Moment for Our Industry to Work Together With Cocoa
Growing Nations to Increase Opportunities for Farmers’
HERSHEY, Pa. -- (Business Wire)
During the past half-century, The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) has helped
family cocoa farmers and communities develop more productive agriculture
practices, build educational and community resources, and improve labor
practices. The company is now expanding these initiatives to modernize
cocoa farming to increase farmer incomes, attract new farmers and
improve cocoa growing communities.
Today, Hershey announces its “21St Century
Cocoa Plan,” a roadmap for how the company will work to help cocoa
communities around the world grow sustainable cocoa for the next
century. Hershey will combine its responsible sourcing practices to
expand the supply of sustainable cocoa while investing in community
programs that improve education and the livelihoods of cocoa-growing
families around the world.
“Cocoa is at the heart of our business and we care deeply that this key
ingredient is grown in a safe, healthy and sustainable manner,” said
John P. Bilbrey, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Hershey
Company. “Through our Hershey 21St Century Cocoa Plan, we are
taking meaningful and measurable steps and making a positive difference
in the health and well-being of cocoa communities.
“This is a watershed moment for our industry to work together with cocoa
growing nations to increase opportunities for farmers through better
training, financing and community development. The complexity of the
challenges requires us to work together with a focused plan.”
100% Certified Sustainable Cocoa
A cornerstone of Hershey’s 21St Century Cocoa Plan is its
commitment to source 100 percent third-party certified cocoa for all of
its chocolateproducts worldwide by 2020.
Certified cocoa is verified by independent auditors who assess against
established standards for labor, environmental and sustainable farming
practices. With about five percent of the world’s cocoa supply certified
at the end of 2012 and the need for certified cocoa growing, Hershey
believes its 2020 commitment – announced last October – is already
helping expand the global supply of certified cocoa.
Hershey has already committed to source cocoa through three of the
world’s most recognized cocoa certifying organizations: UTZ,
Fairtrade USA and Rainforest Alliance. As Hershey’s buying volume
increases, the company will be working with other well-established
certification organizations to expand their capacity to certify more
cocoa farmers globally.
2020 Certified Cocoa Milestones
In the five months since announcing its 100 percent third-party
certified cocoa commitment, Hershey has made substantial progress
towards its 2020 goals. The company is on track to source at least 10
percent of its total global cocoa purchases from certified sources in
2013, the first year of its 2020 commitment. Hershey also announced
benchmarks for reaching 100 percent by 2020. The company has committed
to scaling its certified cocoa purchases at the following rate:
- At least 10 percent by the end of 2013
- 40 to 50 percent by the end of 2016
- 100 percent by 2020
The company will continue to provide updates on its certified cocoa
progress throughout the next seven years as part of its ongoing CSR
The Hershey 21St Century Cocoa Plan also includes
accelerating and expanding its innovative and successful CocoaLink
mobile phone program, which the company launched in 2011 in Ghana with
the Ghana Cocoa Board and the World Cocoa Foundation. In 2013, the
program will expand into Cote d’Ivoire, a major cocoa-producing country.
CocoaLink is a first-of-its kind program that uses mobile technology to
deliver practical agricultural and social training to rural cocoa
farmers at no cost. Today, more than nine in 10 Ghanaian cocoa farmers
have access to a mobile phone. Since launching in Ghana in July 2011,
Registered more than 16,000 cocoa farmers – about 35 percent of whom
are women – in 550 communities across Ghana’s cocoa growing sector,
Provided 300,000 SMS messages in the local language on topics that
include pruning, planting, fertilizer application, spraying,
children’s issues and insect control, and
Addressed high illiteracy levels through community literacy training.
Hershey Development Center Enhances Cocoa Traceability and
LEARN TO GROWfarmer and family development center,
launched in 2012 in Assin Fosu in Ghana’s central cocoa region, will now
play an important role in Hershey’s overall sustainable cocoa plans. The
center, created in partnership with Source Trust, a non-profit
organization set up to help farmers improve their livelihoods through
better crop yields and quality, will provide Hershey with verified cocoa
that can be traced back to the individual farm level.
HERSHEY LEARN TO GROWand 25 participating community-based farmer
organizations help improve the living standards of 1,250 cocoa farm
families through good agricultural, environmental, social and business
practices training; access to improved planting material; and finance
for farm inputs with the goal to double productivity yield and farm
income over four years. More than 50 percent of farm family income in
this region comes from cocoa. More than 6,000 community members will be
impacted by the program.
TheHERSHEY LEARN TO GROWfarmer and family development
center has also brought high-tech learning to the rural farm village.
Last year, Hershey launched a distance learning program that allows
approximately 80 middle school students in classrooms on both sides of
the Atlantic Ocean to connect through real-time, high-definition
technology that creates a common, virtual classroom experience. Students
in Assin Fosu connect to students from the Milton Hershey School in
Hershey, Pa., to share learning and cultural experiences.
The technology is also used to train local cocoa farmers on good
agricultural, environmental and social practices and to benefit the
Accelerating Change to Improve Lives
Hershey’s 21St Century Cocoa Plan represents a range of
on-the-ground programs and initiatives that work together to accelerate
positive change in the cocoa growing regions over the next seven years.
For example, in Mexico, Hershey and cocoa supplier Agroindustrias Unidas
de Cacao SA de CV have launched the Mexico
Cocoa Project, a 10-year initiative to reintroduce cocoa growing
in southern Mexico and help restore the country’s cocoa crop after it
had been nearly decimated by the spread of a disease known as frosty pod
rot. Through the distribution of disease-tolerant trees, the program
intends to improve the livelihoods of more than 1,000 cocoa farmers and
their families in the region and quadruple family incomes.
Through its own and partner programs, Hershey estimates the total
portfolio of programs encompassed by its 21St Century Cocoa
Plan will directly impact 750,000 cocoa farmers and indirectly benefit
more than two million West Africans through utilization of technology,
farmer training on good agricultural practice, cocoa seed nurseries and
planting material, farm inputs on credit, village resource centers,
malaria prevention, community infrastructure, village school
construction, and literacy and health programs.
Hershey will regularly update its progress on the Hershey’s 21St
Century Cocoa Plan and its various programs through its Corporate Social
reporting and on its website.
About The Hershey Company
The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) is the largest producer of quality
chocolate in North America and a global leader in chocolate and sugar
confectionery. Headquartered in Hershey, Pa., The Hershey Company has
operations throughout the world and approximately 14,000 employees. With
revenues of more than $6.6 billion, Hershey offers confectionery
products under more than 80 brand names, including such iconic brands as Hershey's,
Reese's, Hershey'sKisses, Hershey'sBliss,
Hershey's Special Dark, Kit Kat, Twizzlers, Jolly
Rancher and Ice Breakers. The company is focused on growing
its presence in key international markets such as China, Mexico and
Brazil while continuing to build its competitive advantage in the United
States and Canada.
For more than 100 years, The Hershey Company has been a leader in making
a positive difference in the communities where its employees live, work
and do business. Corporate Social Responsibility is an integral part of
the company’s global business strategy, which includes goals and
priorities focused on fair and ethical business dealings, environmental
stewardship, fostering a desirable workplace for employees, and
positively impacting society and local communities. Milton Hershey
School, established in 1909 by the company's founder and funded by a
trust administered by Hershey Trust Company, provides a quality
education, housing, and medical care at no cost to children in social
and financial need. Students of Milton Hershey School are direct
beneficiaries of The Hershey Company's success.
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The Hershey Company
Source: The Hershey Company
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