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Supply Chain News: Hershey to get Tough with Suppliers on Sustainability


Sets Strict Policies on Deforestation, Ups CO2 Emissions Reduction Goals, but was Cited for Child Labor Issues in February

April 14, 2021
SCDigest Editorial Staff

Food giant Hershey recently announced a new “No Deforestation Policy,” part of strategy to meet a goal of ending any deforestation across its supply chain by 2030.

Supply Chain Digest Says...

All that notwithstanding, just this past February Hershey was one of a number of chocolate makers named in a lawsuit over child labor in Cote D’Ivoire in Africa.

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Supply categories in focus with the policy include cocoa, palm oil, pulp, paper and soy, which Hershey says represent the supply chains with “greatest risk of contributing to deforestation.”

Hershey said that in the past, its approach to combat deforestation used a “commodity-by-commodity” mindset. With the new strategy, it will take a more “holistic view” of all of its agricultural supply chains.

Under the new policy, Hershey said it will now be mandate that its suppliers publish the policies and procedures they use to help prevent deforestation and peatland loss, and also how they will reduce human rights violations. The new rules also say Hershey suppliers must also protect the rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities to give or withhold their consent to development on their lands.

The new policies also states that “Suppliers must meet and communicate these requirements throughout their supply chains at a corporate group level to ensure compliance by direct and indirect suppliers and raw material producers.”

There is more, according to the UK’s web site. Hershey suppliers must also establish environmental monitoring and human rights due diligence systems, non-compliance and grievance procedures. In addition, they must create “credible” independent verification systems and training programs within their own operations, third party suppliers, and raw material producers.

Hershey said suppliers that are not compliant with the No Deforestation Policy in any of their operations could be suspended or removed as sources of supply for the company.

But Hershey’s sustainability strategies and goals go far beyond deforestation. For example, the company announced goals to reduce scope one and two greenhouse gas emissions by more than 40% by 2024 and to make 100% of its plastic packaging “recyclable, reusable or compostable” by 2030.

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“We will continue to use our scale and apply the full force of our business to reduce our greenhouse emissions and drive climate action forward,” added Michele Buck, Hershey CEO.

In 2020, Hershey pledged to train all its buyers on human rights issues by the end of 2021, noting that child labor, forced labor, deforestation, women’s rights, and living wage were among the “most pressing human rights issues across our value chain.”

All that notwithstanding, just this past February Hershey was one of a number of chocolate makers named in a lawsuit over child labor in Cote D’Ivoire in Africa.

Following that, human rights group International Rights Advocates, said Hershey and other chocolate makers including Nestlé, Cargill, Mars, Mondelez, Barry Callebaut, and Olam would keep bf benefitting from child labor “until they are forced to stop”.

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