For The Hershey Company, sustainability is part of an ongoing and expanding commitment to corporate social responsibility deeply rooted in its heritage since Milton Hershey founded the company. Today, Hershey announced its plan to reinforce cocoa sustainability efforts by accelerating farmer and family development in West Africa, where 70 percent of the world’s cocoa is grown. Hershey’s commitment focuses on two important groups – cocoa farmers and those who love Hershey’s products.Over the next five years, Hershey will also expand and accelerate its programs to improve cocoa communities by investing $10 million in West Africa, including:
- In 2012, Hershey will expand CocoaLink, a first-of-its kind farmer outreach program that uses mobile voice and SMS text messages to connect cocoa farmers with important information about improving farming practices, farm safety, child labor, health, crop disease prevention, post-harvest production and crop marketing.
- Hershey is also establishing the Hershey Learn to Grow farm program in Ghana to provide local farmers with information on best practices in sustainable cocoa farming.
- For the first time, U.S. consumers will be able to purchase Hershey’s Bliss® products with 100 percent cocoa from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.