Hershey has introduced its 21St Century Cocoa Plan, a roadmap for how the company will work to help cocoa communities around the world grow sustainable cocoa for the next century. Hershey will combine its responsible sourcing practices to expand the supply of sustainable cocoa while investing in community programs that improve education and the livelihoods of cocoa-growing families around the world.
A cornerstone of the plan is its commitment to source 100% third-party certified cocoa for all of its chocolate products worldwide by 2020.
Certified cocoa is verified by independent auditors who assess against established standards for labour, environmental and sustainable farming practices. With about 5% of the world’s cocoa supply certified at the end of 2012 and the need for certified cocoa growing, Hershey believes its 2020 commitment is already helping expand the global supply of certified cocoa.
Hershey has already committed to source cocoa through three of the world’s most recognised cocoa certifying organisations, UTZ, Fairtrade USA and Rainforest Alliance. As Hershey’s buying volume increases, the company will be working with other well established certification organisations to expand their capacity to certify more cocoa farmers globally.
In the five months since announcing its 100% third-party certified cocoa commitment, Hershey has made substantial progress towards its 2020 goals. The company is on track to source at least 10% of its total global cocoa purchases from certified sources in 2013, the first year of its 2020 commitment. Hershey also announced benchmarks for reaching 100% by 2020. The company has committed to scaling its certified cocoa purchases at the following rate: at least 10% by the end of 2013, 40-50% by the end of 2016 and 100% by 2020
Mars, Hershey’s main competitor in the US, has committed $300 million (€234.3m) to sustainable cocoa initiatives by 2021, or 0.1% of 2012 sales. Hershey, on the other hand, has committed only $10m (€7.8m) by 2017, or 0.03% of its 2012 sales.
Source: Confectionery Production