Hershey Speeds Up Sustainable Cocoa Sourcing

​(3BL Media/Just Means) - ​Hershey has some sweet news to share. The company recently announced that it has reached a 30 percent mark of independently certified and verified cocoa across its global supply chain. This puts the company on track to achieving ​its ​100 percent sourcing goal from certified and sustainable farms by 2020. These figures show the company is beating its own goals as its original target for 2013 was 10 percent, and Hershey managed to hit 18 percent then.

In the face of this faster-than-anticipated progress on this roadmap, Hershey has announced a new target to source at least 50 percent certified cocoa by the end of 2015, a goal previously set for 2016.

Hershey uses three major certification schemes: UTZ Certified, Fair Trade USA and Rainforest Alliance Certified. Besides, the company has been expanding its work with industry partners to build sustainable farm training through the Hershey Learn to Grow program in Ghana, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire. In 2014, the company announced that more than 19,000 cocoa farmers in Cote d’Ivoire will be enrolled in the program’s agricultural and community training programs. These efforts have led to an increase in certified farms and verified sustainable cocoa, which will contribute to the company’s overall goal of sourcing its raw materials from farms that observe sustainability and human rights standards.

​According to Make Chocolate Fair, some of the human rights issues associated with cocoa farming include poor working conditions, child labor, use of pesticides, lack of access to education and clean water​ and other issues.​ ​The drive is part of a wider strategy and commitment to sustainable farming laid out in​ its​ 21st Century Cocoa Sustainability Strategy. Hershey’s cocoa strategy is ​a response to the cocoa-industry efforts through CocoaAction to improve product, family livelihoods and communities across the cocoa-growing sector in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.​

Image credit: Hershey