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

VICTORY: Hershey’s Chooses Fair Trade

22nd March, 2013 - Posted by Zarah Patriana - 12 Comments

hersheysWe won!

After years of pressure from Fair Trade activists like you, Hershey’s recently announced its next step toward 100% certified sustainable cocoa by committing to source cocoa through three of the world’s most recognized cocoa certifying organizations, including Fair Trade USA.

When Hershey’s made its announcement in October of 2012 to source 100% certified cocoa by 2020, many wondered what the commitment would look like and if that meant Certified Fair Trade.

Now it’s time for the Fair Trade movement to celebrate this milestone achievement of convincing the largest chocolate company in the United States to listen to its consumers and offer sustainably sourced cocoa that also addresses the worst forms of labor in its supply chain.

Global Exchange along with the Raise the Bar, Hershey! Coalition are filled with gratitude for all the years of activism from all of you to bring Hershey’s to this decision.

“This victory represents more than one company finally doing the right thing,” said Global Exchange’s Organizing Director, Kirsten Moller, “it represents thousands of consumers, children, churches, unions and YOU realizing our own power to make change and insisting that everyone is treated fairly by the big corporations that bring us our chocolate, coffee and T-shirts. After years of work, we have pushed GAP to address sweatshop labor, Starbucks to purchase Fair Trade, and now another big corporation has listened to consumer pressure and we have WON with the help of all of you… Enjoy your guilt-free kisses!”

Global Exchange will continue to monitor Hershey’s “21st Century Cocoa Plan” to ensure that its promise is kept to improve cocoa growing communities. We hope to see Hershey’s maintain its timeline of going fully Fair Trade by 2020 and serve as an example to all major chocolate companies out there to continue to raise the bar and improve its supply chain accountability.

In the meantime, let us congratulate Hershey’s on this huge step in the right direction and celebrate this monumental victory for the Fair Trade movement.

Now that Hershey’s has pledged to take these initials steps of going Fair Trade, we must continue the quest to get all chocolate companies to make the same commitment.

Let’s urge World’s Finest Chocolate to go Fair Trade! Take action today.

Read the Raise the Bar, Hershey Coalition statement on Hershey’s timeline transition to certified cocoa.

12 Responses to “VICTORY: Hershey’s Chooses Fair Trade”

  • Congrats to the Fair Trade Movement and to Hershey’s for finally doing what is morally and ethically right. We need more victories like this to make sure that everyone in the process is treated fairly and not being taken advantage of.

  • Matt

    Woohoo! Great work.

  • C. Bandhauer

    Ugh, now, get Fair Trade USA, UTZ & Rainforest Action Network (the 3 so-called fair trade certifiers) to abide by international fair trade standards. The difference is significant. Instead of guarding large producers, the international standards guard smaller worker cooperatives. Check out Equal Exchange’s chocolate and fair trade practices for example.

  • Dawn

    This all sounds dandy, but 100% certified by 2020? 6 1/2 years?! It should not take that long. I boycotted Hershey years ago. One for this, and two because they’re replacing the amount cocoa they used to put in with PGPR. I feel for the workers caught up in this. For some, this is their only source of income, and they are treated so in-humanely. Sad. Sad. Sad.

  • Chris D

    With other major companies getting 100% certified without being campaign targets (choosing certification because it is a way to require practices that improve yield and quality), seems that Hershey would have gone this route w/out a campaign, too. They are just following the leaders. How about launching a thank you campaign?

    Regardless, Hershey has not decided what % will be fair trade. Maybe a thank you campaign will inspire a higher level than they might be thinking of…

  • Hanna Saltzman

    Congratulations to Global Exchange and all volunteers for the years of hard work that resulted in this important victory! I remember reading about the egregious labor conditions in chocolate production when I was in middle school (15 years ago). It vividly stuck in my mind and spurred my first activist actions, taking a petition to school! So excited that years later, this important change is happening!

  • Peter Buck

    I’m confused. Certified what? Hershey’s press release talks about sustainability and certification without once mentioning Fair Trade or discussing the slavery issue.

    • Hi there Peter -

      Hershey’s is stating that it will first start working with three cocoa certifying organizations, which includes Fair Trade USA. As the buying volume increases, Hershey’s states it will then work with more certification organizations, which we hope and will continue to push to include more Fair Trade organizations such as Fair Trade International.

      As we are learning more about this recent announcement, we will continue to urge Hershey’s to keep tits promise of working with Fair Trade organizations and ensure that it can be 100% Fair Trade.

      We will be writing more updates soon.

      Thanks for your feedback!

  • Sunny

    Hey I know we are are happy and yes we should provide positive reinforcement for a movement towards something as essential as Fair Trade; HOWEVER, lets be honest 2020? It will take 7 years to accomplish this?

    I called their 800- helpline today because I own 3 stores that sell their products. I kindly asked to be provided with a list of which products they have that are Fair Trade Approved. I asked this because I don’t care to do a whole investigation, I would just rather sell those products only. The Agent told me they dont have a list for me.. hah

    A multi-billion dollar company who “claims” they understand that child labor is a major battle in improving their product line cannot provide me with a list… Competence ? you tell me?

  • This is great news!YIKES! That will take a long time to get to 2020, though.
    I am researching and writing a blog after signing a new petition for Fair trade chocolate.Please be advised that I have quoted this blog with your url.
    I hope many people view your complete information. I am encouraging parents to only buy Fair trade goodies for Halloween.

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