Hershey Partners with Blommer Chocolate and Olam Cocoa to Build Health Center in Cote D’Ivoire
HERSHEY, Pa., Feb. 26, 2016 /3BL Media/ — Access to basic health care is critical for the wellbeing of rural West African cocoa communities. To help meet the need, The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) partnered with cocoa suppliers Blommer Chocolate and Olam Cocoa to fund and build a community health center in Cote d’Ivoire in the town of Teapleau on the Western side of the country. Cote d’Ivoire is one of the largest cocoa-producing countries in the world.
The recently opened health center is part of the Hershey Learn to Grow training and cocoa sustainability program that seeks to improve the lives of cocoa farmers and communities in West Africa. The new health center now provides basic health services, such as maternity facilities; lab testing for AIDS and Malaria; and vaccinations for polio, tetanus and measles to 1,700 households and 13,000 people across three area communities. Without the center, families in this cocoa farming community would have to either forego treatment or travel long distances for care.
“Our programs go beyond helping farmers learn how to grow quality, sustainable cocoa,” said Terry O’Day, Senior Vice President, Chief Supply Chain Officer. “We work with our partners to improve the wellbeing of all families through education and development projects that benefit everyone in the community.”
“In addition to the support of the individual farm, providing the opportunities necessary to help build thriving communities is critical to the long-term success of the farming sector. We share Hershey’s vision of benefiting thousands of lives,” said Kip Walk, Corporate Director, Sustainability at Blommer.
Cocoa farmers around the town of Teapleau are part of the CARET Cocoa Cooperative and have been part of the Hershey Learn to Grow program for two years. In partnership with the local community and CARET Cooperative, Hershey, Blommer and Olam Cocoa built the health center based on the community needs as determined by the community members. "We're all very happy about this facility. We're very thankful," said local cocoa farmer Jean François Yomi.
The health center project was coordinated with the Ivorian government and the government will manage the staffing and long-term management of the facility.
Hershey, Blommer and Olam Cocoa Begin Construction of Second Health Center
In December, Hershey representatives placed the corner stone of a second health center scheduled for construction in 2016. This second center will be located outside the city of Man in the village of Siambly. This facility is expected to provide access to health services to 3,000 families or approx. 24,000 people in six communities.
Hershey Achieves 2015 Certified and Sustainable Cocoa Goal, Sets New Target for 2017
In related news, Hershey confirmed that it had achieved its goal to source 50 percent of its global cocoa supply from certified and sustainable sources by the end of 2015, a full year ahead of its original schedule. Given this accelerated progress, the company has set a new target of sourcing 75 percent of its global cocoa supply from certified and sustainable sources by the end of 2017. Hershey has committed to source 100 percent certified and sustainable cocoa by 2020.
Last year, Hershey announced that reaching this important responsible sourcing milestone would enable the company to source enough certified and sustainable cocoa in 2016 to surpass the amount of cocoa required, on a mass balance basis, for the global production of four of its most popular chocolate brands: Hershey’s, Kisses, Kit Kat® (United States only) and Brookside. In addition, Hershey pledged that it will add the global Reese’s brand, the company’s largest brand, and others to these four brands in 2017.
For more information about Hershey’s cocoa sustainability efforts, visit Hershey’s Shared Goodness Website.
About The Hershey Company
The Hershey Company, headquartered in Hershey, Pa., is a global confectionery leader known for bringing goodness to the world through its chocolate, sweets, mints and other great-tasting snacks. Hershey has approximately 22,000 employees around the world who work every day to deliver delicious, quality products. The company has more than 80 brands around the world that drive more than $7.4 billion in annual revenues, including such iconic brand names as Hershey's, Reese's, Hershey's Kisses, Jolly Rancher, Ice Breakers and Brookside. Building on its core business, Hershey is expanding its portfolio to include a broader range of delicious snacks. The company remains focused on growing its presence in key international markets while continuing to extend its competitive advantage in North America.
At Hershey, goodness has always been about more than delicious products. For more than 120 years, Hershey has been committed to operating fairly, ethically and sustainably. Hershey founder, Milton Hershey, created the Milton Hershey School in 1909 and since then the company has focused on giving underserved children the skills and support they need to be successful. Today, the company continues this social purpose through 'Nourishing Minds,' a global initiative that provides basic nutrition to help children learn and grow. From neighborhoods across the United States to the streets of Shanghai and Mumbai and villages of West Africa, our goal is to nourish one million minds by 2020.To learn more visit: www.thehersheycompany.com
About Olam Cocoa
Olam Cocoa is a fully integrated cocoa business that supplies cocoa beans and cocoa products. Cocoa beans are sourced from all major origins and Olam Cocoa’s portfolio of respected brands is spearheaded by the iconic deZaan, with its heritage of more than 100 years of excellence, plus Pan-African origin brand Unicao, South American brand Joanes, and the well-established Macao powders and Britannia specialty fats brands. Olam Cocoa has processing, refining and milling presence in the main cocoa producing countries, as well as in, or adjacent to, primary consumption markets in Europe, USA, Canada and Asia.
Alongside a substantial operational infrastructure, Olam Cocoa recognises the clear responsibility to operate sustainably and grow responsibly. This is formalised through the award-winning Olam Livelihood Charter (OLC) and is supported by the Olam Farmer Information System (OFIS) that collects and analyses data at the farmgate level for targeted project development. This is further enhanced by the Socially and Environmentally Responsible Agricultural Practices (SERAP) programme. As one of the world’s foremost suppliers of sustainable cocoa, Olam Cocoa is accelerating progress towards its goal of 100% sustainably sourced cocoa by 2020.
About The Blommer Chocolate Company
Blommer Chocolate Company is the largest cocoa processor and ingredient chocolate supplier in North America. With over 800 employees and four strategically located manufacturing facilities in North America, the company provides comprehensive business solutions for domestic and international customers of all sizes in the confectionery, baking and dairy industries. Among Blommer’s core competencies are cocoa bean processing, chocolate manufacturing, commodity risk management, and product and process R&D. The company is a leader in advancing sustainable cocoa farming, playing an active role in the World Cocoa Foundation and promoting sustainable farming practices through its privately managed programs in Cote d'Ivoire, Indonesia and Ecuador. Founded in 1939, the family-owned and operated company maintains an outstanding reputation for customer service and quality. For more information about Blommer Chocolate Company, please visit www.blommer.com