Victory: Hershey’s Finally Commits to 100% Fair Trade Certified Cocoa

After years of activism by passionate fair trade activists, the Hershey Company has promised to purchase all of its cocoa from fair trade certified sources by 2020!

The Raise the Bar, Hershey! Coalition has identified forced and child labor practices and has been very active in demanding Hershey to: a) “trace its supply chain to the farm level”; b) source “from farmers who can show through independent verification that they do not use forced labor or child labor”; c) ask “suppliers to end such practices at the farms from which they source.”

The Coalition states that although this is a very significant step in the right direction, it will still continue to “hold Hershey accountable for the treatment of cocoa laborers” and 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 committed fair trade activists, all of us at Penn State Brandywine are deeply encouraged by this victory – with time, all the hard work and patience pays off! It reminds me of a few words that Gary Haugen, CEO of the International Justice Mission, had spoken at the Justice conference: “The book of justice is long and boring…full of waiting rooms, long lines, and instructions for perseverance…but I love it. I love it, especially, when we read it together.”

As we continue this journey together, feel free to send a thank you note to Hershey to encourage it’s commitment.

Contributed by Fair Trade Intern, Labanya Mookerjee

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Hershey Announces 100% Certification by 2020!

That’s right you read correctly, Hershey has announced that they plan to be 100% Fair Trade certified by the year 2020, and that by next year they should have one of their top name brands certified. For years the Raise The Bar, Hershey! campaign has been actively pressuring the chocolate company to reevaluate their child slavery practices and work towards a more ethical system.

Hershey stated that they will make this change in small increments over the next eight years, but did not address how they will do this or what certifications they seek to gain.While there is still a lot to question about Hershey’s statement, this is definitley a victory for Raise The Bar, Hershey!

Read the article here http://www.raisethebarhershey.org/raise-the-bar-hershey-campaign-welcomes-hershey%E2%80%99s-announcement-to-source-100-certified-cocoa-by-2020/

Contributed by Louis Donaghue, Fair Trade Intern

 

A Question about Chocolate

It’s question time! So, Dr. Laura Guertin and I were in Wegmans grocery store today, shopping for our campus fair trade s’mores event tomorrow, and we were wondering about some missing food labels. In our mad dash around the store, we came across Hershey’s Bliss chocolate, but found no Rainforest Alliance label on the packaging (Dove chocolates, we discovered on accident, does have a brand of chocolate that is Rainforest Alliance certified).  To our understanding, Bliss chocolate is Rainforest Alliance certified, so why wouldn’t the labeling appear on packaging? Has anybody seen Bliss chocolates with the labeling, or does anybody know why the label wouldn’t be included?

Our second question came up in the international section of Wegmans. I had spotted UK Cadbury  chocolates the other week and wanted to check out their Fair Trade label. However, just like Bliss, I couldn’t find a Fair Trade label for the UK Cadbury milk chocolate bars. If the bars are really from the UK and are the right brand of chocolate, why wouldn’t the label appear on the packaging?

Has anybody else out there had any similar questions? Does anybody know what is going on with these labels?

-Contributed by Sarah DeMartino, Fair Trade Intern