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Responsible Sourcing Supplier Program

Hershey works with thousands of suppliers and business partners around the world every day. We count on this network of ingredients and packaging suppliers, co-manufacturers, co-packers, indirect service providers, and licensees to deliver goods and services to Hershey in a responsible way. We work with suppliers who share our commitment to quality, food safety and to delivering an ethical and sustainable supply chain.

The Responsible Sourcing Supplier Program has at its core our Supplier Code of Conduct. This is a critical framework which outlines our expectations for any supplier working with us around respecting human rights and upholding environmental and ethical legal labor standards. Through our Responsible Sourcing Supplier Program, we engage with our first-tier suppliers to support them on their responsible sourcing journeys to meet our Supplier Code expectations. Together, we can drive positive and lasting change for our people, the planet, and the long-term sustainability of our supply chain.

Hershey’s Responsible Sourcing Supplier Program

Our Responsible Sourcing Supplier Program helps us better engage and support our first-tier suppliers to make more significant impacts for their workers, workplaces and their overall supply chains. The Supplier Program is consistent with our saliency assessment, leverages third-party verification tools, and promotes ongoing training and capability building.

We developed our Supplier Program so that we can engage suppliers of all sizes around the world who may be at very different stages in their responsible sourcing journey. In partnership with human rights NGO Verité, we developed a risk-mapping tool based on our salient human rights issues, which include climate change and deforestation. We used this risk-mapping tool to assess all our first-tier raw material and packaging suppliers as well as co-manufacturers, co-packers, licensees and labor service providers. We identified a prioritized list of 450 suppliers and manufacturing sites for supplier due diligence, including self-assessment questionnaires, independent third-party audits, and opportunities for capability building and continuous improvement.

Our goal is to enroll 100% of our high-risk suppliers in our Supplier Program by 2021.

Supplier Program Requirements

Suppliers enrolled in our Supplier Program complete the following requirements:

Acknowledge: Supplier Code of Conduct

The backbone of Hershey’s commitment to a responsible and sustainable supply chain is our Supplier Code of Conduct. This document sets forth Hershey’s standards and expectations for suppliers with respect to corporate and social responsibility. All enrolled suppliers are required to acknowledge and align with our Supplier Code.

The Supplier Code of Conduct can be downloaded in multiple languages: Bahasa Melayu, Chinese, French, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Tamil and Telugu.

We have published a Supplier Program Guidebook, a new supplier guidebook to assist our business partners in understanding and delivering on the expectations of our Supplier Code of Conduct and relevant sourcing policies. This guidebook is a starting place for what we hope will be more opportunities to partner and collaborate with other industry and country level actors on training and education on key human rights topics.

The Supplier Program Guidebook can be downloaded in multiple languages: Bahasa Melayu, Chinese, French, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Tamil and Telugu.

Assess: Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ)

SAQs are an important tool for Hershey to hear directly from suppliers on their own programming efforts and responsible sourcing journeys. The SAQ allows Hershey to understand our suppliers’ business practices and areas for improvement as well as issues that may require follow up during audits or other assessments. Suppliers in Hershey’s program are required to complete or update their facility’s Sedex SAQ or equivalent on an annual basis. As described in our Supplier Program Guidebook, Hershey prioritizes the Sedex SAQ.

Verify: Supplier On-Site Audit

On-site social compliance audits allow Hershey to understand supplier performance and activity – both positive and negative – across the topics of Labor, Health and Safety, Environment and Business Ethics. Through this audit process, it opens a dialogue between Hershey and our suppliers for sharing concerns, best practices, and where training and investment is needed for continuous improvement.

Our Supplier Program requires suppliers to undergo the Sedex Member Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) 4-pillar social compliance audit or equivalent by an approved Hershey Monitoring Firm.

As a member of AIM-Progress, Hershey supports the process of mutual recognition in an effort to reduce audit duplication, fatigue and cost.

Remediate: Corrective Action Plan

If a Supplier Code of Conduct violation is uncovered during an audit, suppliers are asked to develop a corrective action plan that includes addressing the root cause of the issues and remediates the non-compliance. A follow up audit is then required to verify that the violation has been addressed.

Supplier Training and Capability Building

Hershey recognizes that our suppliers have different levels of maturity when it comes to sustainability, human rights and broader responsible business practices, and we actively seek opportunities to support suppliers on their journey of continuous improvement. Our Supplier Guidebook is designed to assist our business partners in understanding and delivering on the expectations of our Supplier Code of Conduct and relevant sourcing policies. In addition, our memberships with Sedex and the Responsible Labor Initiative (RLI) allow us to provide suppliers with a broad range of e-learning opportunities. Finally, through AIM-Progress we are able to partner and collaborate with other industry and country-level actors on training and educational opportunities.

Learn more about our training and capability efforts in cocoa


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