MILAN – In cocoa growing regions in West Africa, deforestation and the loss of biodiversity due to encroachment into protected areas is a manifestation of a complex set of root causes: poverty, the absence of land titles, a lack of clarity on land tenure arrangements, no knowledge of sustainable farming practices and poor law enforcement.
Furthermore, due to the loss of biodiversity in the growing ecosystem, farms are more at risk of shocks from extreme weather events. For cocoa, the stress on forest ecosystems has never been greater. To combat this risk, Hershey has committed to zero deforestation and is increasing agroforestry and shade-grown cocoa practices within our supply chain.
Hershey is a founding member of the Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI), which was launched in 2017 to focus on cocoa communities in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. CFI is a framework for industry, governments and NGOs to work together to take action and protect the delicate ecosystems where cocoa is produced.
Hershey has made significant progress toward attaining key results with CFI. Some highlights include:
- In 2019, we publicly shared our CFI Action Plans (2018–2022).
- Between 2018–2019, Hershey has mapped 91 percent of the farms we directly source from in Côte d’Ivoire and 86 percent in Ghana and increased the distribution of shade trees (approximately 240 percent).
- In 2019, we expanded our partnership with USAID through Supporting Deforestation-Free Cocoa in Ghana, which promotes affordable land documentation, landscape management and rehabilitation.
Read more in Hershey’s 2019 Sustainability Report.