The Hershey Company announced that 30 percent of its globally sourced cocoa was independently certified and verified. This reflects an accelerated pace for achieving its goal of sourcing 100 percent of its cocoa supply from certified and sustainable cocoa farms by 2020.
Hershey also announced a new target to source at least 50 percent certified cocoa by the end of 2015, reaching its 2016 goal a year ahead of schedule.
Hershey is currently sourcing certified cocoa through three of the world’s largest and most recognized cocoa certifications: UTZ Certified, Fair Trade USA and Rainforest Alliance Certified. During the past year, Hershey has been expanding its work with industry partners to build sustainable farm training through its Learn to Grow program in Ghana, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire. In 2014, the company announced that more than 19,000 cocoa farmers in Cote d’Ivoire will be enrolled in Learn to Grow agricultural and community training programs. The company says these efforts have led to an increase in certified farms and verified sustainable cocoa.
In 2012, when Hershey announced its 100 percent goal, certified cocoa accounted for less than 5 percent of the world’s cocoa supply, according to the company. As the largest chocolate manufacturer in North America, Hershey said its 2020 purchasing commitment should significantly expand the global supply of certified cocoa, particularly from West Africa, which produces about 70 percent of the world’s cocoa.