At Hershey, we envision a world where cocoa farmers and their families are able to live healthy, prosperous lives; where cocoa communities and ecosystems thrive for generations to come.
In 2012, Hershey committed to sourcing 100% certified and sustainable cocoa for all chocolate products around the world by 2020. Certified cocoa is verified by independent auditors to ensure the highest international standards for labor, environmental and farming practices. As of January 2020, we are proud to have achieved 100% certified and sustainable cocoa.
Hershey sources cocoa through two of the world's most recognized cocoa certifying organizations: Fair Trade USA and Rainforest Alliance (UTZ). We also source cocoa from suppliers whose standards meet the international ISO/CEN criteria.
Consumers in the U.S., Canada and Brazil can currently purchase numerous delicious Hershey chocolates produced with cocoa coming from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms or Fairtrade USA farms. Those include but are not limited to Brookside products (U.S. and Canada), Hershey Special Dark products (Brazil) and barkTHINS™ products (U.S.).
Cocoa For Good
In 2018, we launched our Cocoa For Good strategy which outlines our strategy for sustainable cocoa. We’re investing half a billion dollars by 2030 to nourish children, empowering youth, build prosperous communities and preserve natural ecosystems.
In 2020, we committed to expanding our direct sourcing strategy under the Cocoa For Good program.
Learn More About Cocoa For Good:
Cocoa For Good Infographic
Cocoa For Good Video
Cocoa For Good Press Release
Cocoa For Good Blog: Caring for Forests Today to Ensure Clear Skies Tomorrow
Cocoa For Good Blog: Safeguarding Forests Where We Source Cocoa
Cocoa For Good Blog: Hershey Continues to Scale Cocoa Sustainability Efforts
Cocoa Supply Chain Traceability
The Hershey Company is committed to driving greater traceability and transparency in the cocoa supply chain and actively works with suppliers, as well as producer and consumer governments.
In 2020, we expanded our Cocoa For Good program, committing to expand our Cocoa For Good program, committing to 100% direct-sourced cocoa in high-risk areas by 2025, which includes all of our cocoa sourced by our suppliers. This expanded commitment will make Hershey’s cocoa from these countries traceable from the farm to the first point of purchase, giving us a clear line of sight into where all of our cocoa from West Africa is grown and how it is produced – providing more transparency for consumers and all stakeholders.
To learn more about Hershey’s cocoa supply chain, please visit Cocoa Supply Chain Traceability.
Hershey takes action to protect forests and help restore forest cover in the cocoa growing regions in West Africa. Hershey publicly committed to no new deforestation in its cocoa supply chain, effective immediately, and to implementing agroforestry tree planting programs.
Hershey is a founding member of the Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI), launched in 2017 to focus on cocoa communities in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. CFI is a framework for industry, governments and NGOs to work together to take action and protect the delicate ecosystems where cocoa is produced. Hershey’s CFI action plans will be delivered through its Cocoa For Good sustainable cocoa strategy, announced in April 2018. The plans focus on sensitive forest areas and are designed to inhibit encroachment on these protected areas by implementing locally tailored development programs.
To learn more about the action plans and significant progress Hershey has made toward attaining key results with CFI, please visit:
Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation Systems
Hershey does not tolerate child labor within our supply chain, and we are working to eliminate it within cocoa communities. The Cocoa For Good Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS) actively seeks to prevent, identify and remediate any instances of child labor found in our cocoa supply chain.
To learn more about Hershey’s efforts to eliminate child labor within cocoa communities, our 2018-2019 results and our commitment to scale-up CLMRS, please visit Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation System. More details and annual progress updates on our sourcing sustainability programs can be found in the Hershey annual Sustainability Reports.
Human Rights Due Diligence in Cocoa
The Hershey Company is committed to protecting and respecting human rights as outlined in our enterprise Human Rights Policy. Our approach to human rights due diligence is guided by the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGPs) and is an ongoing risk management process that allows us to identify, prevent and mitigate human rights risks in our cocoa value chain. In 2020, we took steps to significantly enhance and formalize our approach to human rights due diligence in cocoa – building on our existing commitment to 100% certified and sustainable cocoa, supply chain traceability and mapping, deforestation, and implementation of Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation System. Key steps in our due diligence process include:
- Country of origin risk assessments: Annual review of origin risks drawing on publicly available information as well as our own sourcing data related to child labor, forced labor, deforestation and income vulnerabilities
- Supplier sustainability assessments: An annual survey of our direct suppliers’ sustainability and responsible sourcing practices and management systems
- Manufacturing site risk assessments: Ongoing requirement that all sites that provide cocoa and cocoa products to Hershey are required to have an up-to-date Sedex Self-Assessment Questionnaire and SMETA audit (or equivalent)
- Farm level risk assessments: Hershey has reached 100% certified cocoa which includes on-farm assessments and monitoring against credible standards (i.e., Rainforest Alliance and Fair Trade USA) through independent auditors
- Child labor monitoring and remediation systems: By 2025, Hershey is committed to scaling CLMRS to 100% of our Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana cocoa sources to end child labor and to remediate all cases of child labor identified though the CLMRS
- Grievance mechanisms: Through our commitment to certifications, like the Rainforest Alliance, Hershey supports operational level grievance mechanisms at the cooperative level to express grievance on standards and on auditors. Hershey’s Supplier Code of Conduct also requires our suppliers to have grievance mechanisms that are tracked and verified through our Supplier Sustainability Assessment. Finally, the Hershey Company Concern Line is an anonymous and independently managed grievance mechanism available for individuals in our value chain.
The Senior Director for Strategic Sourcing has ultimate oversight over our cocoa due diligence management system in partnership with the global sustainability and responsible sourcing teams.
Support of Cocoa Due Diligence in the European Union and Elsewhere
The Hershey Company supports the proposal in the European Union to require cocoa traders, importers and chocolate companies to conduct greater due diligence on the sources and labor conditions within their supply chains. We believe such initiatives will hold all members of the cocoa industry accountable for their supply chains.
While self-regulation has helped the cocoa-growing regions make important progress and led to change on these issues, we believe that more needs to be done because these issues are so deeply embedded in these regions. The voluntary efforts of chocolate companies and cocoa importers who have led the way through farm-level sustainability programs, cocoa certification and remediation programs now only account for about 40% of the cocoa used in the world. This work needs to be extended more broadly.
We also would support a similar due diligence initiative in the United States where our company is based.