• Hershey is the largest US manufacturer of chocolate and candy.
• Hershey has been criticized for sourcing cocoa from plantations that employ slave labor and trafficked child labor, although Hershey maintains that perceived problems of widespread child labor and slavery are the result of misinformation about the nature of cocoa farms in Africa.
• Hershey has recommitted to responsible cocoa growing through its own supplier code established in 2007, but the company has a long way to go before its production will be truly transparent.
• Support Fair Trade certified cocoa initiatives and explore Go Green for more ways to make a difference.
-- Profile Updated 09/20/2010
The Hershey Company (formerly Hershey Foods Corporation) manufactures chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery and chocolate-related grocery products. The company is based in Hershey, Pennsylvania and employs 15,000 people. In 2006 Hershey reported sales of over $4.9 billion.
Hershey currently holds a license to manufacture Cadbury Chocolates in the United States.
End the hunt: Where have our chocolate eggs been?
Please take the time to tell Hershey that you want to know where their chocolate is coming from. Working conditions in West Africa involve child labor and human trafficking. Hershey needs to disclose their supply chain, and move towards Fair Trade cocoa.
H.B. Reese Candy Co. - Hershey, PA
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Hershey Foods Corp.-Hazleton Plant (Plant) - Hazleton, PA
- Hershey Foods Corporation-Stuarts Draft Plant - Stuarts Draft, VA
- Hershey Foods Corporation-Western Plant (Plant) - Oakdale, CA
- Hershey Japan Co., Ltd. - Tokyo, Japan
- Overspecht, B.V. - Oosterhout, Netherlands
- Peter Paul - Naugatuck, CT
- Sperlari, S.R.L. - Milan, Italy
- Y & S Candies - Lancaster, PA
P.O. Box 810
Hershey, PA 17033-0810 USA
A report issued by Green America, Global Exchange, ILRF and Oasis USA, shed light on problems in Hershey's supply chain, including child labor on chocolate farms, and the company's unwillingness to address these issues.
-- Green America, 09/13/2010
Tulane University, under contract from the US Department of Labor, has issued reports about labor conditions on cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast and Ghana, where Hershey and other major chocolate companies source their cocoa. Tulane’s research found children in agricultural households in the Ivory Coast and Ghana are regularly working in cocoa, missing school, and a significant number are performing dangerous tasks. in 2009, fifteen percent of children surveyed reported forced or involuntary work during the past year.
-- Tulane University, 01/05/2009
Source URL: www.childlabor-payson.org/
In 2008 Fortune magazine reported that Hershey is not playing a direct role in reforming the cocoa industry in the Ivory Coast, which is plagued by child labor practices and other labor violations. Instead, Hershey (and the cocoa industry in general) contributes to the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI), which is supposed to address labor issues in the Ivory Coast. However, critics maintain that the ICI has only provided one staff member in the Ivory Coast and has done little to end child labor.
-- CNN Money, 01/24/2008
Hershey shareholders presented a resolution calling for a report on the company's cocoa sources. The resolution was designed to determine whether Hershey purchases cocoa from Cargill, ADM and Nestle, all of which have been implicated as sourcing cocoa from farms that use slave and child labor. US chocolate companies agreed to work toward ending illegal child labor on cocoa farms vis-a-vis the voluntary Harkin-Engel Protocol. However, the protocol expired on July 1, 2005, and the industry failed to develop a system to certify that US chocolate products are sourced without the use of forced child labor.
-- Global Exchange, 04/03/2006
Source URL: www.globalexchange.org/update/press/3852.html
Hershey, along with M&M's/Mars, dominates the $13 billion dollar chocolate industry, much of which comes from the Ivory Coast. It has been found that children have been forced or tricked into leaving their homes to work as indentured servants on cocoa plantations. It is estimated that between 10,000 and 15,000 children work on these plantations, some as young as 11 years old. The children work an estimated 80 to 100 hours a week. The Ivory Coast is said to provide 43 percent of the industry's cocoa.
-- Global Exchange, 10/28/2005
Source URL: www.wiretapmag.org/stories/27500
In April 2004, 40 churches around Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where Hershey is headquartered, initiated a boycott against the company designed to raise awareness of the plight of children forced to work as slaves in cocoa plantations in Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Although Hershey, along with other chocolate producers, has made efforts to develop an industry-wide monitoring system, the religious groups called the company's current approach to the issue "inadequate, sluggish and ineffective".
-- Ethical Corporation, 04/20/2004
Source URL: www.ethicalcorp.com/content.asp?ContentID=1939
More than 2,700 Hershey Foods Corp. workers began a strike in April 2002 when the company announced that employees' contributions to health insurance would increase. The six-week walkout, the longest in Hershey's history, produced a four-year contract under which union members agreed to lower wage increases in return for keeping health care contributions at a 6 percent rate.
-- Associated Press, 06/07/2002
Ethics and Governance
At the 2006 shareholder meeting, Harrington Investments is calling on Hershey to "review and report to shareholders on all sources of cocoa supply purchased for manufacture of all company products, including a breakdown of percentage of total volume by supplying company or source. Furthermore, it is requested that this review and report to shareholders be conducted with a particular reference to potential financial and reputational risks incurred by the company as a result of its relationships with [Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland and Nestle]."
-- Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility, 05/01/2006
In 2006, CEO Richard H. Lenny made $11,349,910 in total compensation including stock option grants from Hershey Foods. This is equivalent to earning $218,267 per week.
-- AFL-CIO, 04/05/2006
Hershey scored 7out of 100 on Human Rights Campaign's 2009 Corporate Equality Index. The Corporate Equality Index is a tool to measure how equitably companies are treating their gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees, consumers and investors.
-- Human Rights Campaign, 02/15/2009
London-based Global Alliance has published a report focusing on the role of cocoa exports in prolonging conflict in the Ivory Coast. Cocoa exports contributed to as much as 30 percent of the government military expenditure during one six-month period between 2002 and 2003, Global Witness claims, and has provided about $30million a year to rebel groups since 2004. The report draws parallels between the way revenues from cocoa in Ivory Coast fund both government and rebel forces, and the way diamonds and timber fuelled the civil war in neighbouring Liberia.
-- Corporate Watch, 06/07/2007
Source URL: www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=14514