Hershey Company has joined major confectionery businesses for Cocoa and Forests Initiative
The US-based Hershey Company has joined other major confectionery groups in confirming action plans to protect forests and restore forest cover in the cocoa growing regions in West Africa.
As the company new plans are part of the company’s “Cocoa For Good” sustainable cocoa strategy, announced in April 2018, which links to the latest multi-agency Cocoa and Forests Initiative, signed up to by more than 30 confectionery and cocoa firms.
Hershey has publicly committed to no new deforestation in its cocoa supply chain, effective immediately, and to implementing agroforestry tree planting programmes.
The new CFI forest protection plans for the two largest cocoa-producing countries in West Africa – Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire – step up Hershey’s forestry commitments with specific actions to end deforestation and to begin restoring forests.
Hershey’s CFI action plans will be delivered through its Cocoa For Good sustainable cocoa strategy, announced in April 2018. The plans focus on sensitive forest areas and are designed to inhibit encroachment on these protected areas by implementing locally tailored development programs.
“Cocoa, the key ingredient in chocolate, is beloved by people around the world,” said Beatrice Moulianitaki, Head of Sustainable Sourcing. “We want to ensure that this cherished product continues to be available for a growing number of consumers worldwide without damaging the forests close to where most of the world’s cocoa is grown. With the proper care and resources, we are confident that cocoa can continue to grow while protecting sensitive forests and habitats in the region.”
Hershey’s CFI action plans are organised under three strategic pillars: Forest Protection and Restoration, Sustainable Production and Farmers’ Livelihood, Community Engagement and Social Inclusion.
The company has created specific goals, actions and timebound targets for both Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire under each of the three pillars. The three pillars are designed to work together to ensure a holistic approach to protecting forests while taking into consideration the human impact. This approach ensures that communities are fully engaged in these efforts and the actions benefit both the people and the surrounding ecosystem.
Plans include: Distributing 900,000 multi-purpose trees to farms in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire by 2022, and distributing more than 2.5 million improved cocoa seedlings to farmers in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire by 2022.
In addition, there are also plans for satellite mapping of 50,000 farms across Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire in the Hershey supply chain during this year.
For the past several years under its Cocoa For Good programme, Hershey has been implementing programs that meet the CFI commitments. The company’s agroforestry programs have already distributed more than 3.5 million cocoa trees and about 320,000 shade trees in West Africa between 2013 and 2017. Hershey will continue to review, expand and improve current programs to meet its CFI 2022 goals.