Monday, September 19th, 2011 marks the ten-year anniversary of the signing of the Harkin-Engel Protocol—an agreement signed by the country’s largest chocolate companies to put an end to forced child labor on cocoa farms by 2005. Now, six years later, the chocolate companies still dragging its feet and hundreds of thousands of children continue to work long, grueling hours in the cocoa fields of West Africa, according to a report funded by the US Department of Labor.
Last fall, Green America published a corporate-responsibility report for the Hershey company, pointing out that it lags behind its peers and competitors (many of which are doing no better) in taking action for a fair supply chain. Other companies have read our original report on Hershey’s practices and have increased their commitment to Fair Trade – but still no commitment from Hershey.
So today we released our second alternative corporate social responsibility report for the Hershey Company: STILL Time to Raise the Bar: The REAL CSR report for The Hershey Company [PDF]. In this report we highlight Hershey’s ongoing failure to trace its supply chain and stop child labor. We also call out Hershey as the laggard in the industry—being the only major chocolate company that has failed to adopt ANY third party certifications for its cocoa.
Bottom line: We have to keep the pressure on Hershey. As chocolate-lovers and consumers, we have the power to change Hershey. Let Hershey know you will not tolerate chocolate made at the expense of children!
Read our NEW report [PDF] to learn about Hershey’s failure to take action on child labor.