The Hershey Company has announced that 30 percent of its globally sourced cocoa was independently certified and verified in 2014—this reflects an accelerated pace for achieving its goal of sourcing 100 percent of its cocoa supply from certified and sustainable cocoa farms by 2020.
The announcement follows the company’s 2013 achievement of sourcing 18 percent certified cocoa globally, nearly double its original goal of 10 percent for the first year of its 2020 commitment.
Following this accelerated progress, Hershey also announced a new target to source at least 50 percent certified cocoa by the end of 2015, reaching its 2016 goal of 40 and 50 percent one year ahead of schedule.
Hershey is currently sourcing certified cocoa through three of the world’s largest and best-known cocoa certifications: UTZ Certified, Fair Trade USA and Rainforest Alliance Certified™. During the past year, Hershey has been expanding its work with industry partners to build sustainable farm training through the Hershey Learn to Grow program in Ghana, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire. In 2014, the company announced that more than 19,000 cocoa farmers in Cote d’Ivoire will be enrolled in Learn to Grow agricultural and community training programs.
In September, Hershey announced a new three-year program expanding its cocoa farmer training and community initiatives in Ivory Coast, the world’s largest cocoa producing country. These efforts have led to an increase in certified farms and verified sustainable cocoa, which will contribute to Hershey’ sourcing 100 percent cocoa that is certified and originates from sources that have been independently audited and verified for appropriate farming, labor and environmental practices.
Hershey’s 100 percent certified and sustainable cocoa commitment is one part of Hershey’s ongoing commitment to support sustainable cocoa farming through its 21st Century Cocoa Sustainability Strategy. Hershey’s cocoa strategy is part of the broader cocoa-industry efforts through CocoaAction to improve product, family livelihoods and communities across the cocoa-growing sector in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.