Hershey’s has recently announced that its new line of chocolates, Bliss Chocolates, will only be made using cocoa certified by the Rainforest Alliance. Don’t get too excited. The only reason for this ‘ethical’ move was to prevent the International Labor Rights Forum from airing an ad featuring Hershey’s use of child labor on a giant screen right outside of the Super Bowl. The bad publicity was enough to get the company to invest in $10 million in West Africa to produce ethically sourced chocolate. Of course, the ILRF chose not to air the ad “in thanks” to Hershey.
Raise the Bar was an anti-child labor campaign aimed against Hershey’s that was active for an entire year before the company paid any mind to it, and only at the threat of embarrassment and lost revenue. Despite signing a protocol against child labor almost ten years ago, Hershey is the one participating company who has failed to eliminate their use of child labor. In West Africa, thousands of children still harvest cocoa for Hershey’s, and their investment with Bliss Chocolates makes only a small difference compared to their many other products that utilize child-picked cocoa.