As consumers across the U.S. prepare to enjoy the holiday season, The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) announces something to make the season a little sweeter: consumers can now buy Hershey’s Bliss® chocolates made with 100 percent certified cocoa. The rollout of certified Hershey’s Bliss® chocolates builds on The Hershey Company’s programs in West Africa to increase the income and livelihoods of the region’s two million cocoa farmers. In January, Hershey announced it would make all of its popular Hershey’s Bliss® milk, dark and white chocolates from Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa. Certified cocoa is sourced from farms that have met comprehensive sustainability standards that strive to protect the environment and the safety and well-being of workers, their families and communities. “ Hershey’s Bliss® chocolates have always been about using distinct, high-quality ingredients to craft rich chocolate with an exceptional creaminess. Now consumers can enjoy the smooth taste of Hershey’s Bliss® chocolates and know that they are helping to protect the environment and supporting safe and healthy conditions for family cocoa farmers,” said Kristin Harper, Director for Hershey’s® Kisses® and Bliss® Brands. “We listened to consumers and responded by giving them an easy and delicious way to enjoy 100 percent certified chocolate.” Hershey’s Bliss® chocolates are available at more than 35,000 retail outlets across the United States. The certified products began rolling out this fall and continue to arrive at retailers across the country. Consumers can identify certified Hershey’s Bliss® products by the distinctive Rainforest Alliance green frog seal on the exterior bag packaging. Bliss® brand chocolates are available in Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, White Chocolate Meltaway, Dark Chocolate with Caramel and Crème de Menthe Meltaway. Coordinating with ongoing industry and government sustainability initiatives, the Rainforest Alliance certification process utilizes independent inspectors to monitor and audit the labor and farming practices on farms supplying certified beans used to make Hershey products. Hershey and the Rainforest Alliance also collaborate to provide cocoa farmers with training to help them improve farming practices, increase farmer income, improve labor practices, increase school attendance, and address global climate change and adapt to its impacts.
In October, Hershey announced its 2020 cocoa certification commitment, a substantial commitment to addressing long-term cocoa sustainability issues in the cocoa supply chain. Hershey will source 100 percent certified cocoa for all of its chocolate product lines around the world by 2020 and accelerate its sustainability programs in Ghana and the Ivory Coast.Hershey regularly updates its progress on these programs through its Corporate Social Responsibility reporting. More information about Hershey's cocoa sustainability efforts is available at: www.HersheyCocoaSustainability.com. About The Hershey Company The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) is the largest producer of quality chocolate in North America and a global leader in chocolate and sugar confectionery. Headquartered in Hershey, Pa., The Hershey Company has operations throughout the world and approximately 14,000 employees. With revenues of more than $6 billion, Hershey offers confectionery products under more than 80 brand names, including such iconic brands as Hershey's, Reese's, Hershey's Kisses, Hershey's Bliss, Hershey's Special Dark, Kit Kat, Twizzlers, Jolly Rancher and Ice Breakers. Hershey also offers premium and artisan chocolate products under such brands as Scharffen Berger and Dagoba through the Artisan Confections Company, a wholly owned subsidiary. The company is focused on growing its presence in key international markets such as China and Mexico while continuing to build its competitive advantage in the United States and Canada. For more than 100 years, The Hershey Company has been a leader in making a positive difference in the communities where its employees live, work and do business. Corporate Social Responsibility is an integral part of the company’s global business strategy, which includes goals and priorities focused on fair and ethical business dealings, environmental stewardship, fostering a desirable workplace for employees, and positively impacting society and local communities. Milton Hershey School, established in 1909 by the company's founder and administered by Hershey Trust Company, provides a quality education, housing, and medical care at no cost to children in social and financial need. Students of Milton Hershey School are direct beneficiaries of The Hershey Company's success.
About the Rainforest AllianceThe Rainforest Alliance works with people whose livelihoods depend on the land, helping them transform the way they grow food, harvest wood and host travelers. From large multinational corporations to small, community-based cooperatives, businesses and consumers worldwide are involved in the Rainforest Alliance’s efforts to bring responsibly produced goods and services to a global marketplace where the demand for sustainability is growing steadily. For more information, visit www.rainforest-alliance.org.