Hershey vows to use only certified cocoa by 2020
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Candy maker Hershey is vowing to use only certified cocoa for all of its chocolate products by 2020 and accelerate programs to help eliminate child labour in the cocoa-producing regions of West Africa.
The company has come under fire from activists who said it was the only major chocolate producer in the world that hadn't made a commitment to use certified cocoa.
The central Pennsylvania company said on Wednesday its plan to use certified cocoa - which is produced according to certain social, economic and environmental standards - should "significantly expand" the global supply of such cocoa, especially from West Africa, which produces about 70 per cent of the world's cocoa. Currently, certified cocoa accounts for less than 5 per cent of the world's cocoa supply, Hershey said.
The company also vowed to continue its support of community development programs, such as village school construction, mobile phone farmer messaging, training in modern farming techniques and literacy and health programs.