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Hershey's Commitment to Human Rights

The Hershey Company was founded on the principle of doing well by doing good, and for more than 125 years, we have operated our business understanding that we are integral members of the communities where we live and work. The Hershey Company’s human rights policy outlines our commitment to respect human rights throughout our value chain and is part of our global sustainability strategy, The Shared Goodness Promise.

Our human rights policy is guided by our saliency assessment and was developed in consultation with diverse internal and external stakeholders including suppliers, human rights groups, nonprofit organizations working in our raw material value chains, government representatives, and labor organizations, amongst others.

To learn more, read our policy. Our policy is also available in French, Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese and Hindi.

Our Salient Issues

Our Human Rights Policy identifies and prioritizes the most significant human rights risks to individuals throughout our value chain. It is guided by an intensive Human Rights Saliency assessment that helps us to better focus our policies and programs to have the biggest impact on people touched by our business activities. We conducted our assessment in line with the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework and with the assistance of an independent third party, which works with us on our ESG reporting.

This process included:

  • Desk-based research, including a review of relevant internal policies and procedures, peer review benchmarking and a media scan
  • Internal and external stakeholder interviews, including a diverse cross section of Hershey leaders as well as representatives from labor and nonprofit organizations, our suppliers, investors and governmental bodies
  • A workshop with internal and external stakeholders to review research findings and prioritize our list of salient issues
  • A stakeholder consultation process with the same group of internal and external stakeholders to review and refine our policy before it was formalized and launched
  • Review and approval by Hershey Company senior executives and Board of Directors

For more about Hershey’s Human Rights due diligence >

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Access to Grievance Mechanisms: Access to formal, legal and nonlegal/operational complaint processes for stakeholders throughout the entire value chain.

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Deforestation: The effects of deforestation and land clearance on human rights.

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Access to Water and Sanitation: Access to sufficient, safe, accessible, physically accessible, and affordable water and sanitation services for personal and domestic use.

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Climate Change: The effects of climate change on the environment on health and human rights.

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Women's Rights & Empowerment: The universality of all rights, including for women.

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Living Wage & Income: A wage and or income level that allows all members of the household to afford a decent standard of living.

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Forced Labor and Human Trafficking: As defined by the International Labor Organization (ILO) including work or service which is exacted from any person under the threat of a penalty and for which the person has not offered himself or herself voluntarily.

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Child Labor: The worst forms of child labor as defined by the ILO conventions 138 and 182.

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Safety & Health: To provide a safe and healthy workplace in line with applicable safety and health laws and regulations, in consultation with employees.

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Land Rights and Acquisition: Customary land rights and associated processes for acquisition and development, particularly for farmers and indigenous populations.


We will continue to share updates on our goals and human rights activities through our website, our Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement and our annual sustainability report.

Energizing Diversity & Inclusion at Hershey

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights require us to respect human rights in connection with our own operations and extended value chain. This includes looking at structural discrimination, social justice and racism.

Hershey employees working on line

Human Rights & COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has only underscored the importance of protecting and promoting human rights and the need to urgently deploy resources to those most impacted.

Read more about Hershey’s response to Covid-19

Strong Governance

At Hershey, human rights are managed by our Global Sustainability Team. This oversight includes senior leaders (Board and senior management) from across the business and the sustainability team is led by the Senior Director of Global Sustainability. The day-to-day management of human rights is overseen by our Manager for Global Sustainability & Social Impact and the implementation of human rights in our supply chain, including our agricultural supply chain, is overseen by our global Director for Responsible Sourcing and Head of Sustainable Sourcing. All sustainability efforts, including human rights, are directly overseen by the Sustainability Steering Committee, which is comprised of Vice Presidents from across all major business functions. Ultimate oversight for human rights falls within our Board of Directors and our Executive Committee (which includes our CEO and the CEO’s direct reports) who are briefed on an annual and bi-annual basis, respectively.

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