The Hershey Company is taking action to protect forests and restore forest cover in cocoa-growing regions in West Africa.
The company has released an action plan that is part of its commitments as a founding member of the Cocoa & Forest Initiative (CFI). The new plan is part of the company’s ‘Cocoa For Good’ sustainable cocoa strategy, announced in April 2018.
In February 2018, Hershey publicly committed to no new deforestation in its cocoa supply chain, and to implementing agroforestry tree planting programmes.
The new CFI forest protection plan for the two largest cocoa-producing countries in West Africa – Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire – step up Hershey’s forestry commitments with specific actions to end deforestation and to begin restoring forests.
The plan focuses on sensitive forest areas and is designed to inhibit encroachment into these areas by implementing locally tailored development programmes.
Hershey’s CFI action plans are organized under three ‘strategic pillars’: forest protection and restoration; sustainable production and farmers’ livelihoods; and community engagement and social inclusion.
Hershey has created specific goals, actions and targets for Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire under each of the three pillars. The three pillars are designed to work together to ensure a holistic approach to protecting forests while taking into consideration the human impact. This approach ensures that communities are fully engaged in these efforts and the actions benefit both the people and the surrounding ecosystem.
Plans include: distributing 900,000 multipurpose trees to farms in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire by 2022; distributing more than 2.5 million improved cocoa seedlings to farmers in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire by 2022; satellite mapping of 50,000 farms across Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire in the Hershey supply chain by 2019