The Hershey Company has made a commitment to no new deforestation in its global cocoa supply chain, it has announced.
This commitment is aimed at stopping ongoing deforestation and protecting forests in the cocoa-growing regions where the company sources its cocoa.
The commitment includes two fundamental components:
Hershey said it is committed to achieving these commitments through its own forest initiatives and its work with the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) and its Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI), an industry commitment announced in 2017 to protect and help restore forests and support sustainable cocoa production and farmer livelihoods.
Its commitments are likely to protect forests by stopping the illegal deforestation that has been occurring for decades, especially in National Parks and Reserves, and rejuvenating forests impacted by farming activities.
Hershey will develop a comprehensive forestry plan in 2018 to outline its agroforestry programs, tree-planting goals, supplier guidelines and monitoring, and timelines to achieve its forest protection and reforestation goals.
The plan will be completed and publicly shared before the end of 2018.
“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, Chief Procurement Officer at The Hershey Company.
“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.”