Hershey’s growth in Mexico is part of the company’s strategic vision to grow its international business through key focus markets, including Mexico.

The Mexico Cocoa Project is one of The Hershey Company’s numerous cocoa sustainability programs around the world as part of its “21 st Century Cocoa Plan” and the company’s deep commitment to corporate social responsibility and the environment. The plan addresses an ongoing concern of the cocoa industry, which is supporting the long-term sustainability of the world’s cocoa supply. Last year, Hershey committed to using 100 percent certified cocoa in its products globally by 2020. Hershey’s percentage of certified cocoa will surpass 10 percent of its total cocoa volume this year and increase to between 40 and 50 percent by 2016.

Cocoa was first domesticated and used as a food about 3,500 years ago (around 1500 B.C.) in the tropical lowlands of South Central Mexico by an ancient civilization called the Olmecs. They believed the seeds they called kakawa or cacao gave them health and power. Cocoa use in southern Mexico also traces back to the Mesoamerica cultures of the Mayans and Aztecs, who considered it a “food of the gods.”

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 $6.6 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. The company is focused on growing its presence in key international markets such as China, Mexico and Brazil 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 funded by a trust 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.

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