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.
Today’s announcement is part of Hershey’s ongoing commitment to support sustainable cocoa farming through its 21st Century Cocoa Sustainability Strategy. Hershey seeks to modernize cocoa farming for the two million farmers across West Africa with a particular focus on education. As a founding member of the World Cocoa Foundation, Hershey’s cocoa strategy is part of broader cocoa-industry efforts to improve family livelihoods and communities across the cocoa-growing sector worldwide.“Our program’s focus is on educating cocoa farmers as well as the larger farm community, including school-aged children. Sustainable cocoa farming depends on teaching farmers about modern farming practices and appropriate social practices,” added O’Day. “Our 21 st Century Cocoa Sustainability Strategy seeks to address many dimensions of farmer livelihoods, including productivity, improved incomes and labor practices. By 2020, we expect to source 100 percent certified cocoa and to see the opportunities for West African cocoa farmers significantly improved.” For more information about Hershey’s 21st Century Cocoa Sustainability Strategy and other ethical cocoa sourcing initiatives, visit Hershey’s corporate website at: www.thehersheycompany.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 $7 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.