Hershey has already committed to source cocoa through three of the world’s most recognized cocoa certifying organizations: UTZ, Fairtrade USA and Rainforest Alliance. As Hershey’s buying volume increases, the company will be working with other well-established certification organizations to expand their capacity to certify more cocoa farmers globally.
2020 Certified Cocoa Milestones
In the five months since announcing its 100 percent third-party certified cocoa commitment, Hershey has made substantial progress towards its 2020 goals. The company is on track to source at least 10 percent of its total global cocoa purchases from certified sources in 2013, the first year of its 2020 commitment. Hershey also announced benchmarks for reaching 100 percent by 2020. The company has committed to scaling its certified cocoa purchases at the following rate:
- At least 10 percent by the end of 2013
- 40 to 50 percent by the end of 2016
- 100 percent by 2020
The company will continue to provide updates on its certified cocoa progress throughout the next seven years as part of its ongoing CSR reporting.Accelerating CocoaLink The Hershey 21 St Century Cocoa Plan also includes accelerating and expanding its innovative and successful CocoaLink mobile phone program, which the company launched in 2011 in Ghana with the Ghana Cocoa Board and the World Cocoa Foundation. In 2013, the program will expand into Cote d’Ivoire, a major cocoa-producing country. CocoaLink is a first-of-its kind program that uses mobile technology to deliver practical agricultural and social training to rural cocoa farmers at no cost. Today, more than nine in 10 Ghanaian cocoa farmers have access to a mobile phone. Since launching in Ghana in July 2011, CocoaLink has:
- Registered more than 16,000 cocoa farmers – about 35 percent of whom are women – in 550 communities across Ghana’s cocoa growing sector,
- Provided 300,000 SMS messages in the local language on topics that include pruning, planting, fertilizer application, spraying, children’s issues and insect control, and
- Addressed high illiteracy levels through community literacy training.