In my white paper, I will be examining the issue of child labor, specifically in West African cocoa production. For too long, children have been forced to work on cocoa farms on the Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. The conditions on these farms are often not regulated by African governments and are commonplace. However, large foreign chocolate producers who purchase cocoa from these farms do not tolerate the idea of child labor in their supply chains. These companies, like Hershey and Nestle, wrestle with how to appease consumers and eliminate child labor in African countries where regulation is difficult and cultures are different.
My business resource is a press release from Hershey, released on the FairTrade website. Hershey, as I explored in Paper 2, is a company that has received backlash due to the presence of child labor in their supply chain and their reluctance to eliminate it. In 2013, as the press release announces, Hershey revealed it’s “21st Century Cocoa Plan,” which details how the company will help cocoa farmers grow sustainable cocoa and improve the livelihood of the communities themselves. This involves a plan to source 100% third-party certified cocoa by 2020. Third-party certification programs, like FairTrade and the Rainforest Alliance, work to ensure that, among other things, child labor is not present on their certified farms. Knowing Hershey’s plan to improve their supply chain would be very valuable for my paper.
The Hershey example demonstrates how a major company in the cocoa industry can take steps to eliminate child labor. With an audience of chocolate companies, the influence that Hershey’s 21st Century Cocoa Plan could have enormous implications. This article could help me further the argument that businesses can take responsibility for the quality of their own supply chains and develop beneficial relationships with their producers.
This source is reliable, as it was written by the Hershey Company. The facts about what Hershey plans to do are correct. However, in order to evaluate the effectiveness of this campaign, I would need to turn to other sources, as I do not think Hershey would publish a comprehensive report about the impacts of their efforts.