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Thank you, Hershey! Please keep your promise to address child labor in your supply chain

For more than two years, our Raise the Bar, Hershey! Coalition and 150,000 people have called on Hershey to address child labor in its cocoa supply chain, as so many of its competitors have already done.

Now, we have reason to celebrate! Hershey announced that by 2020 it will transition all its chocolate products to certified cocoa sources that will address labor and environmental issues. While we welcome this announcement, the Raise the Bar, Hershey! Coalition is asking Hershey CEO John Bilbrey and other Hershey executives to detail what this commitment means.

Particularly, we are asking Hershey to specify:

  1. Which certifier(s) Hershey will work with to meet this goal? We want the strictest standards that will protect children, and third-party verification that the standards are met. (Not all certification systems are equal; fair trade goes furthest on the ground to identify and remediate child laborers, especially in sensitive industries like cocoa and cotton.)
  2. The timeline for transitioning the entire Hershey product line to third-party certification. We want an aggressive time line, certifying progressively more cocoa each year, demonstrating by product line and percent of product certified each year.
  3. How it will report to the public, providing complete transparency on how it is meeting its transition goals.

The Raise the Bar, Hershey! Coalition will continue to hold Hershey accountable for the treatment of cocoa laborers, especially the youngest of them, with the smallest of voices. We will also continue to pressure major corporations, working in chocolate and other sectors to address the issues of forced labor, child labor, and human trafficking in their supply chains, as the International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that roughly 6 million children work in forced labor conditions.

Please join us in thanking Hershey for this important step forward, and urge them to make a clear commitment to fair trade certification as fast as possible. Eight years may seem like nothing to a more than 120-year-old company, but it’s an excruciatingly long time for a child working on a cocoa farms through the day and night in the Ivory Coast or Ghana.

Please send Hershey an email today!




* John P. Bilbrey, CEO, The Hershey Company;
* Andy McCormick, Vice-President for Public Affairs, The Hershey Company;
* Todd Camp, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility, The Hershey Company;
* James D. George, Vice-President, Community Relations, The Hershey Company

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— Amanda in Austin , TX

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