The Hershey Company has announced it has created a new sustainable cocoa programme called Cocoa For Good, and the company will invest up to $500 million by 2030 to help support the programme.
Cocoa for Good will help to address issues such as poverty, vulnerable ecosystems and poor nutrition among its cocoa farming communities through investments and collaborative programmes.
One of the core aims of the programme is to protect forests and ecosystems through innovative agroforestry methods, in order to preserve the cocoa-growing ecosystem in its supply chain.
The eradication of child labour and further investment in education opportunities for young people in cocoa growing regions are other core goals of the scheme, as the company aims to provide these young people with essential skills.
Hershey says another aim of the scheme is to increase the household income of men and women in these communities through investment schemes, while the company will also attempt to improve access to healthy foods to improve nutrition in these communities.
Susanna Zhu, chief procurement officer said: “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.
“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. It’s good for the cocoa farmers, families, communities, chocolate consumers and the success of our business.”
Cocoa farming communities in countries such as the Ivory Coats and Ghana are integral to Hershey’s chocolate production, and H.E. Daniel Kablan Duncan, vice-president of the Ivory Coast (Côte D’Ivoire) added: “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.
“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 catalyze.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2018