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The Hershey Company's Cocoa Sustainability Projects Include Leadership And Economic Training For Women Farmers, Literacy, Health And Farm Safety Programs In Addition To Hershey's 100 Percent Cocoa Certification Goal. (Photo: Business Wire)

The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) today announced that 18 percent of all the cocoa the company sourced globally in 2013 was certified, nearly double the company’s original 2013 goal of 10 percent. With nearly one-fifth of cocoa sourced through sustainable practices, Hershey is on track to meet its goal of sourcing 100 percent certified cocoa by 2020. The company’s next certification milestone is to reach between 40 and 50 percent of all cocoa purchased globally by 2016.

The Hershey Company's cocoa sustainability projects include leadership and economic training for wom ...

The Hershey Company's cocoa sustainability projects include leadership and economic training for women farmers, literacy, health and farm safety programs in addition to Hershey's 100 percent cocoa certification goal. (Photo: Business Wire)

“We are proud of our substantial progress in our first year of this important initiative to advance the well-being of cocoa-producing communities,” said Terence O’Day, Senior Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer. “This is just one of many initiatives through local NGOs, national governments and development agencies to address child labor and improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers around the world. These projects include leadership and economic training for women farmers, literacy, health and farm safety programs as well as the recent opening of a Hershey-supported primary school in western Ivory Coast.”

Hershey also announced today that its Scharffen Berger brand has reached its previously stated goal to source 100 percent of cocoa from certified farms by the end of 2013. All Scharffen Berger products now use cocoa that is 100 percent sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms, joining both Hershey’s Bliss chocolates and Hershey’s Dagoba organic chocolate, which reached this milestone in 2012.

The certified cocoa used in Hershey products is verified by independent auditors who follow recognized international standards for labor, environmental and sustainable farming practices. Hershey is sourcing certified cocoa through three of the world’s largest and most recognized cocoa certifications: UTZ Certified, Fair Trade USA and Rainforest Alliance Certified™.

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