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Hershey’s is taking a humanitarian step with its latest initiative. The chocolate-producing factory has vowed only to use certified cocoa for all of its products by 2020. The initiative is an attempt to help eliminate child labor in regions of West Africa.
According to Hershey, its plan should significantly expand the global supply of cocoa.
“Consistent with Hershey’s values, we are directly addressing the economic and social issues that impact West Africa’s two million cocoa farmers and families,” J.P. Bilbrey, company president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “I am confident that we can make a substantial difference in West Africa by 2020.”
The Associated Press reported that some 1.8 million children work on cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast and Ghana. Roughly 40 percent of them are not enrolled in school, and only 5 percent of the children are paid for their work.