How Sweet It Is! Feeling Better about Hershey.

You kind of have to hand it to Americans. We can turn anything into a reason for consumption. The journey from a day honoring early Christian martyrs to the World’s Largest Inflatable Heart is by no means direct.

But whatever. Chocolate is yummy.

Anyway, I wanted to take this Valentine’s Day to remind you of the problem of child slavery on cocoa plantations. It’s real. It’s bad. But encouraging signs are appearing…

Hershey’s recently released an announcement that by the end of 2012, 100% of the cocoa for their Bliss line of chocolate will be Rainforest Alliance Certified–meaning that the production of this cocoa will meet third-party standards for environmental protection, social equity and economic viability. Additionally, Hershey’s has promised to invest $10 million in West Africa for various educational and development initiatives intended to improve the lives of cocoa workers. (Beings that they netted $510 million in 2010, that’s not a lot, but okay.)

There’s still farther to go–Bliss and Dagoba represent a mere fraction of Hershey’s brands, which include York, Mounds, Almond Joy, LifeSavers, BreathSavers, Reese’s, Heath, Jolly Ranchers, Mauna Loa, Scharffen Berger, Twizzlers, and many more. They could do more. We can do more.

It’s movements like Raise the Bar, Hersheys! that raised awareness enough to put pressure for these small changes. Now, an eighth-grader from Philadelphia, Jasper Perry-Anderson, has created a Change.org petition to petition the trustees of the Milton Hershey School to put pressure on Hershey to take more pointed measures at ending child labor and human trafficking in the plantations from which they source ingredients.

Why not sign the petition? It’s kind of the least we can do.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

2 thoughts on “How Sweet It Is! Feeling Better about Hershey.

  1. I appreciate you mentioning this and am glad to hear that Hersheys is working to change their chocolate. Last year for Valentine’s Day we toured Theos chocolate – the only fair trade certified chocolate factory in the U.S http://godspace.wordpress.com/2011/02/16/chocolate-anyone/ I also recommend watching The Dark Side of Chocolate. You can see the trailer here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y882AajKo1s&feature=player_embedded.
    Blessings & keep on educating

  2. Great Hershey is being morally and environmentally responsible in the manufacturing of their chocolate and related products. Specifically investing millions of dollars toward educating the children of the African nations especially the Ivory Coast. Plus cultural projects. Rain Forest Alliance Certified too. Unfortunately as you wrote its a small start but at least its a start. Remember the Chinese saying. The longest journey starts with a single step. BTW I wonder how much this miniscule start is due to the negative publicity. Especially the film” “Dark Side of Chocolate” Link http://www.foodjustice.org

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