Hershey Joins with World’s Largest Cocoa and Chocolate Companies in CocoaAction Initiative

HERSHEY, Pa.--()--The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY):

  • Strategy creates unprecedented alignment among the cocoa and chocolate companies to coordinate cocoa sustainability efforts
  • Program goals complement existing Hershey cocoa sustainability programs

The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) announced today that it will be a founding member of CocoaAction, a new strategy to align the cocoa sustainability efforts of the world’s largest cocoa and chocolate companies. CocoaAction creates a new level of coordination and commitment by the leading global cocoa and chocolate companies and governments to promote cocoa sustainability in West Africa.

Under the auspices of the World Cocoa Foundation, which will act as the convener for the group and facilitate the implementation of the industry-wide strategy, CocoaAction seeks to build a rejuvenated and economically viable cocoa sector for at least 300,000 cocoa farmers – 200,000 in Côte d’Ivoire and 100,000 in Ghana – and the communities where they live by 2020. By voluntarily working together as an industry, the strategy aims to increase of the impact of the cocoa industry’s numerous sustainability programs. Participating companies have committed to providing the necessary means to achieve a transformation of the cocoa sector. The governments of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire have formally endorsed CocoaAction as the industry’s aligned effort to support their national cocoa sustainability plans.

“A reliable, sustainable supply of ethically grown cocoa is vital to Hershey and the global chocolate and cocoa industry and is the best way to ensure consumers will enjoy delicious, affordable and sustainable cocoa,” said Terrance O’Day, Senior Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer at Hershey. “It’s a major breakthrough for key members of the industry to come together and work as a group to solve the challenges facing cocoa farming in West Africa and achieve our mutual sustainability objectives.”

CocoaAction will initially focus on Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, which together provide about 55 percent of the world’s current cocoa supply and where key Hershey cocoa sustainability programs, including CocoaLink and the Hershey Learn to Grow development farm, are already located.

The CocoaAction strategy is built on four key principles that align with Hershey’s cocoa sustainability goals:

  • Reinforcing interdependency between productivity-enhancing and community development interventions
  • Commitment to a holistic approach in the form of a productivity and community development package that reflects where industry believes it can make a unique and significant contribution
  • Field-level delivery that is customized based on local conditions
  • Alignment of company programs and interventions within the framework of the national public-private partnership platforms

CocoaAction will focus on increasing productivity through applying good agricultural practices, providing access to improved planting material and fertilizer, correct use of planting materials and fertilizer, and community development. Community efforts include addressing child labor through labor monitoring and remediation, making basic education available, ensuring children go to school, and improving gender parity so that women have a greater influence in their communities’ decision making and development.

In addition to The Hershey Company, the companies that have committed to CocoaAction as of May 20, 2014, are: ADM; Armajaro; Barry Callebaut; Blommer; Cargill; Ecom; Ferrero; Mars, Incorporated; Mondelēz International; Nestlé; and Olam. CocoaAction members will share common objectives and agreed upon measurements to determine progress based on a joint set of indicators.

More details on the CocoaAction strategy are available at the World Cocoa Foundation website.

About The Hershey Company

The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY), headquartered in Hershey, Pa., is a global confectionery leader known for bringing goodness to the world through its chocolate, sweets, mints and other great-tasting snacks. Hershey has approximately 13,000 employees around the world who work every day to deliver delicious, quality products. The company, which has more than 80 brands around the world that drive over $7.1 billion in annual revenues, includes such iconic brand names as Hershey's, Reese's, Hershey's Kisses, Jolly Rancher and Ice Breakers. Hershey is focused on growing its presence in key international markets while continuing to build its competitive advantage in North America. Additionally, Hershey is poised to expand its portfolio into categories beyond confectionery, finding new ways to bring goodness to people everywhere.

At Hershey, goodness has always been about more than delicious products. For 120 years, Hershey has been committed to good business by operating fairly, ethically and sustainably to make a positive impact on society. This means contributing to a better life for its employees, consumers, communities, and, ultimately, creating a bright future for children in need. This commitment is exemplified by Milton Hershey School, established in 1909 by the company's founder and administered by Hershey Trust Company. The children who attend the school receive education, housing, and medical care — thriving as direct beneficiaries of The Hershey Company's success.

Contacts

The Hershey Company
Jeff Beckman, 717-534-8090
jbeckman@hersheys.com

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Contacts

The Hershey Company
Jeff Beckman, 717-534-8090
jbeckman@hersheys.com