Approximately 1.7 million children work in horrible, dangerous conditions in the West African cocoa industry. While many chocolate companies have committed to guaranteeing that their suppliers do not use child slave labor, Hershey’s refuses to release information about its supply chain or purchase cocoa only from ethical suppliers except in two product lines, Bliss and Dagoba. Because of this, Hershey’s can’t guarantee that the cocoa in most of their chocolate was not harvested by kids, who frequently don’t get enough to eat, don’t have access to medicine, and can’t get an education.
The Raise the Bar Hershey’s campaign has sent a petition to Hershey’s Board of Directors asking them to responsibly source cocoa from independently certified suppliers who comply with international labor rights standards. Hershey’s failed to respond, so this petition will go to the Milton Hershey School Trust, who owns a large part of Hershey’s Chocolate Company, as well.
Valentines Day is a huge money-maker in the chocolate industry and a great opportunity for us to make a difference.