US chocolate giant, The Hershey Company has pledged to no new deforestation in its global cocoa supply chain.
The company said that its commitment is aimed at “stopping ongoing deforestation and protecting forests” in the cocoa-growing regions where it sources cocoa.
The commitment is comprised of two fundamental components, with the no new deforestation mentioned above and tree planting programmes.
Hershey is working towards this aim through its own forest initiatives and its work with the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) and its Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI).
CFI is an industry commitment announced in 2017 to protect and help restore forests and support sustainable cocoa production and farmer livelihoods.
Hershey will develop a comprehensive forestry plan in 2018 to outline its agroforestry programs, tree-planting goals, supplier guidelines and monitoring, and timelines to achieve its forest protection and reforestation goals. The plan will be completed and publicly shared before the end of 2018.
“Deforestation in cocoa regions must end and every stakeholder in the cocoa supply chain needs to work together to protect the forests for future generations,” said Susanna Zhu, Chief Procurement Officer at The Hershey Company.
“We are committed to working with local governments and civil society to strike the right balance between producing cocoa for the world and conserving the precious natural ecosystem.”