The Hershey Company, one of the world’s largest chocolate manufacturers, has pledged to not source cocoa from newly deforested areas, with immediate effect. The firm will also support shade-grown cocoa through pro-active tree-planting programmes.
The commitment was made in an attempt to stop deforestation and protect forests in the cocoa-growing regions that make up its supply chain. To achieve this goal, The Hershey Company will work alongside the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) while continuing to develop its own forest initiatives.
Last year the WCF announced its Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI), an industry-wide commitment to the protection and restoration of forests. The initiative will also encourage the sustainable production of cocoa and support farmer livelihoods. It promises to oppose illegal deforestation in national parks, nature reserves and other locations, and pledges to regenerate forests that have been badly damaged by farming activities.
Hershey has fully committed to the Cocoa & Forests Initiative and will also develop its own comprehensive forestry plan in the coming months. This will detail the company’s agroforestry programmes and tree-planting goals and will provide guidelines for its suppliers in terms of achieving and monitoring protection targets against an agreed timeline. The plan will be shared publically by the end of the year.
“Deforestation in cocoa regions must end and every stakeholder in the cocoa supply chain needs to work together to protect the forests for future generations,” said Susanna Zhu, The Hershey Company’s Chief Procurement Officer. “We are committed to working with local governments and civil society to strike the right balance between producing cocoa for the world and conserving the precious natural ecosystem.”
Founded in the US in 1894, The Hershey Company sells its products in over 60 countries around the world. Since 1988 it has also manufactured and distributed Cadbury’s chocolate products in the United States.
Steve has over 28 years of success as CPO, MD and Procurement BPO leader in a range of industries. Steve is COO at Odesma, responsible for Odesma’s delivery capability & infrastructure.