As consumers across the U.S. prepare to enjoy the holiday season, The Hershey Co. has announced something to make the season a little sweeter: consumers can now buy Hershey’s Bliss chocolates made with 100% certified cocoa.
The rollout of certified Hershey’s Bliss chocolates builds on The Hershey Co.’s programs in West Africa to increase the income and livelihoods of the region’s two million cocoa farmers.
In January, Hershey announced it would make all of its popular Hershey’s Bliss milk, dark and white chocolates from Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa. Certified cocoa is sourced from farms that have met comprehensive sustainability standards that strive to protect the environment and the safety and well-being of workers, their families and communities.
“Hershey’s Bliss chocolates have always been about using distinct, high-quality ingredients to craft rich chocolate with an exceptional creaminess. Now consumers can enjoy the smooth taste of Hershey’s Bliss chocolates and know that they are helping to protect the environment and supporting safe and healthy conditions for family cocoa farmers,” said Kristin Harper, director for Hershey’s Kisses and Bliss Brands. “We listened to consumers and responded by giving them an easy and delicious way to enjoy 100% certified chocolate.”
Hershey’s Bliss chocolates are available at more than 35,000 retail outlets across the U.S. The certified products began rolling out this fall and continue to arrive at retailers across the country. Consumers can identify certified Hershey’s Bliss products by the distinctive Rainforest Alliance green frog seal on the exterior bag packaging. Bliss brand chocolates are available in Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, White Chocolate Meltaway, Dark Chocolate with Caramel and Crème de Menthe Meltaway.
Coordinating with ongoing industry and government sustainability initiatives, the Rainforest Alliance certification process utilizes independent inspectors to monitor and audit the labor and farming practices on farms supplying certified beans used to make Hershey products. Hershey and the Rainforest Alliance also collaborate to provide cocoa farmers with training to help them improve farming practices, increase farmer income, improve labor practices, increase school attendance, and address global climate change and adapt to its impacts.
In October, Hershey announced its 2020 cocoa certification commitment, a substantial commitment to addressing long-term cocoa sustainability issues in the cocoa supply chain. Hershey will source 100% certified cocoa for all of its chocolate product lines around the world by 2020 and accelerate its sustainability programs in Ghana and the Ivory Coast.