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Hershey Co. has recently announced that it will be investing $500 million for the production of its famed chocolate brand: Kisses. The investment will be running through 2030 which is expected to support children nourishment, youth empowerment, natural ecosystem preservation and community building.

The said investment will be running under the Cocoa for Good program which will include the initiatives mentioned above. Aside from that, the company hopes to eliminate child labor while increasing shade grown cocoa during the program.

The program is expected to launch in Ivory Coast and Ghana. These countries are the leading cocoa producers globally as Hershey seeks a universal approach to sustainability. Furthermore, the company may also touch other cocoa-producing countries such as the ones in South America.

According to the Chief Procurement Officer of Hershey Susanna Zhu, the company has already met with Ivorian officials and discussed about the proposed project.

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The Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar is the flagship chocolate bar of the Hershey Company. Hershey refers to it as "The Great American Chocolate Bar."

“Cocoa is a tremendous part of the livelihoods for the people of Côte D’Ivoire and public-private partnerships are critical to improving the lives of people living in cocoa communities and protecting our precious natural resources,”  Vice President of the Republic of Côte D’Ivoire H.E. Daniel Kablan Duncan, told reports. “We value our partnership with The Hershey Company and look forward to working together to bring about the meaningful change that this new investment will catalyze.”

Cocoa Futures has been facing pressures during the recent periods. With the recent price decline, global farmers are now forced to cut productions which windswept the global surplus. This has consequently instigated a double loss in the agricultural commodity market.

More so, the demand for chocolate grows constantly. In 2017, the global retail sales of recorded an increase of $102.3 billion and is estimated to grow further by at least 8.2% in 2022.

 “I have sold cocoa to many companies, but I have not benefitted from them like I have with Hershey. The trainings have increased productivity on my farm, especially with the extensive pruning of my cocoa trees,” New Edubiase District of Ghana local Owusu Prempeh, expressed in a report. “I am grateful to Hershey for the premiums they paid to us. We used part of our premium to purchase school uniforms, school bags, books and other school accessories to support school children in the community.”

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