Hershey Company has pledged to invest some $500mn to tackle deforestation and child labour in its supply chain.
The move is part of its ‘Cocoa For Good’ initiative, which it says is a holistic approach to its cocoa sustainability strategy.
It said the strategy addresses the most pressing issues facing cocoa-growing communities: poverty, poor nutrition, at-risk youth, and vulnerable ecosystems.
“A sustainable cocoa supply depends on a multi-stakeholder collaborative approach to find solutions to the social, environmental and economic challenges facing cocoa-growing communities,” said Susanna Zhu, Chief Procurement Officer.
“As a critical player in the cocoa value chain, we are committed to doing our part. The Hershey Company has been partnering with key stakeholders in the cocoa sector for more than 100 years. Under Cocoa For Good, we continue to work toward a future where there’s a long-term, sustainable cocoa supply, the natural environment is protected, and we are creating better lives for everyone.
Cocoa For Good focuses investments and work in four key areas: Nourishing Children, Elevating Youth, Prospering Communities and Preserving Ecosystems. Hershey’s strategy prioritises:
“Cocoa is a tremendous part of the livelihoods for the people of Côte D’Ivoire and public-private partnerships are critical to improving the lives of people living in cocoa communities and protecting our precious natural resources,” said H.E. Daniel Kablan Duncan, Vice President of the Republic of Côte D’Ivoire.
“We value our partnership with The Hershey Company and look forward to working together to bring about the meaningful change that this new investment will catalyse.”