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Oct 082012
 

From Green Right Now Reports

Hershey's premium Dagoba chocolate is not certified as Fair Trade, but the company promises it will be promoting fair labor and environmental practices going forward.

Just in time for Halloween, Hershey’s has responded to a call to assure that its West African cocoa is certified as free of child labor.

The candy giant, based in Hershey, Penn., has been targeted by social justice activists for two years because the company uses cocoa from Ghana and Ivory Coast, where child labor is rampant and sustainability is not always pursued.

Unlike Fair Trade chocolate companies such as Equal Exchange and the Divine brand farmers, which certify that suppliers are paying fair wages and using adult labor, Hershey’s has not certified that child laborers are not exploited in the farming of its cocoa.

But after Whole Foods Markets responded to public pressure over the issue and removed a Hershey’s brand from the shelves earlier this fall, the candy company capitulated. Hershey’s now says that  it will move to using only certified cocoa sources by 2020.

Activists from the Raise the Bar, Hershey! campaign are both thanking the company and continuing their scrutiny of Hershey’s to assure that the company certifies its cocoa and reports the steps it takes to the public.

The campaign targeted Hershey’s because it is a huge consumer of cocoa, and because it’s shown social responsibility in the U.S..

To read more, see Green America’s recap, which asks those who’ve petitioned the company to thank Hershey’s for its new commitment.