Global Exchange is a membership-based international human rights organization dedicated to promoting social, economic, and environmentsl justice around the world.

Time to Raise the Bar in the Cocoa Industry

9th November, 2010 - Posted by Zarah Patriana - 7 Comments

In September, Hershey’s issued their first-ever Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report, yet failed to mention any real solutions to issues of forced and child labor that persist in its supply chain. As a response, Global Exchange and ally organizations, Green America, International Labor Rights Forum, and Oasis USA issued an alternative report CSR report encouraging  Hershey to increase its transparency in its cocoa supply.

At the Green Festival in San Francisco this past weekend, Global Exchange and Green America issued the Hershey’s Challenge in order to gather as many petition signatures on the Hershey’s: Raise the Bar campaign. We hoped to target the over 40,000 people in attendance and we’re looking to you to help surpass that goal as we begin to tally up the signatures.

Take action with us as we target Hershey’s CEO, David West and encourage him to Raise the Bar on his chocolate company. Mr. West received a compensation package of over $8million in 2009, while cocoa farmers in West Africa harvesting for Hershey’s were struggling to make ends meet and often employing abusive child labor on their farms. So, join us by signing the Raise the Bar petition and let Hershey’s know that consumers are demanding that they begin sourcing Fair Trade Certified cocoa.

Want to get inspired? These 6th grade students in Joi Chimera’s class in New York are already taking action as you can see in their Raise the Bar drawings asking Hershey’s to take child labor out of the chocolate equation.

So join these students who are speaking up for children in West Africa and demand Hershey’s and the rest of the cocoa industry commit to Fair Trade Certified cocoa.

A special thanks to Anne Kelly at the New York Labor-Religion Coalition for sending over these photos and the amazing work she and the NY Labor-Religion Coalition has done for the Raise the Bar campaign and the Fair Trade movement. Also thanks to Ms. Chimera’s class for getting involved and producing these amazing drawings.

7 Responses to “Time to Raise the Bar in the Cocoa Industry”

  • OMG…these pictures are amazing! Way to go 6th grade class. Our future leaders hopefully.

    • WOW! I think that it is wonderful that students are being made aware and taking a stand against child labor. Great posters with a lot of thought given to them. You have opened the eyes of many and will make a change! My daughter made one of the featured posters- so proud of her and her class! WAY TO GO!

  • recycle

    Thanks for blogging about this: Something else that’s related to your post is this video I saw on YouTube from the GreenopolisTV website. Check it out:

  • Kirsten Moller Kirsten

    Hey Hershey’s Listen up

  • tama

    Okay, I am confused a bit here. I don’t get why such a big company can’t come out with at least one fair trade item, but their corporate report does lit contributions to cocoa farming communities, school building, etc. Also, Hershey Mexico received an award in 2010 as a “Socially Responsible Company” from the Mexican Center for Philanthropy (CEMEFI). Things just aren’t adding up. How can they win for socially responsible if the claims that they source from suppliers that are not?

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