A Chocolaty Similarity: Raising the Fair Trade Bar to Hershey
Hershey, Pennsylvania – “the Sweetest Place On Earth”.
This chocolate-loving town is only a stone’s throw away from my native Scranton, but it has a pretty unsavory business when it comes to its candy. Like Warner Bros., Hershey does not have fair trade practices despite their lavish chocolate spa, chocolate theme park rides, and multi-million dollar world business. But, look at what happened when a group of people took a stand and asked Hershey to “raise the bar” – exactly what we are trying to achieve by the end of NIHN 2.0!
Hershey Chocolate Company is a huge employer in Northeastern PA. It is a local theme park, small city, and job source to thousands of people across PA and the US, while it reaches its titillating innovations to even more candy lovers. You probably have eaten their Hershey kisses, Hershey bars (in s’mores), Kit Kats, Rollo’s, Reese’s PB Cups, and Twizzlers! Oh baby is their chocolate good and they just keep on producing mounds of cocoa magic. Hershey also bought the rights to import Cadbury products into the US – talk about massive coverage. You know those little chocolate Easter eggs? Yep, chances are you are nomming on a Hershey product. Anyway, you can see that their products are hugely popular and consumed by the barrel-full. But, someone found out that these products were not fairly created. And they spoke out to the public.
A group of activists created a campaign called “raise the bar”, forming a website of the same title and demanding that Hershey end these supply chain agreements. But… it wasn’t only a chocolate thing . It was a community issue. This affected more than just the chocolate-craving-smear-it-all-over-your-face-cocoa-in-your-blood people. This affected the global community and each human life that worked for this company. How could someone enjoy just a delicious foodie masterpiece when another person was so terribly treated to make it? So, what ended up happening? Hershey listened. They made a 10-year plan to phase out their unfair practices and make fair trade their priority. It hasn’t completely finished yet – the plan has a final goal of having the majority of ALL products be fair trade by 2022. Right now, they demanded that the Top 5 chocolate bars be fair trade and recertify the fair trade practices of 1 bar each year. But they started the process. Each part of the chain has been changed by that campaign and it is only a matter of time before their goals are completed.
Why can’t we do the same? Let’s channel Hermione, pull out our knitting kits, and recruit others to join the cause! NIHN- Not In Harry’s Name 2.0- has begun! We need support and a LOT of it to change this practice. Talk to the nervous Neville’s, the unsure Harrys, and the obstinant Ron’s. They may not see the effects yet, but it is only a matter of time before other practices dirty our cocoa beans even more and change the entire way we function. Our nation runs on Dunkin? Not if its fuel source has other issues attached to it. Let’s get going!!!