LONDON, 10 May 2013—US-based Hershey, one of the world’s largest chocolate makers has signed the Abidjan Cocoa Declaration, bringing the total number of cocoa stakeholder signatories to 34, the ICCO announced today.

Vice President Global Commodities Frank G. Day signed the ground-breaking Declaration in late February on behalf of The Hershey Company, which has headquarters in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The company­­­­the largest producer of chocolate in North Americahas about 14,000 employees and annual revenues of over $6 billion. Hershey’s sustainability projects include a $10 million investment in West African origins over the next five years, with activities such as expanding its programmes to improve cocoa communities and to further develop farmer outreach.   

Hershey is one of the Declaration’s latest stakeholder signatories, which range from cocoa growers through their governments to civil society and most of the world’s largest manufacturers of chocolate. The international stakeholders began signing the Declaration at a special ceremony during the first World Cocoa Conference in Abidjan in November.

The Abidjan Cocoa Declaration, which recommends specific and measurable actions to achieve a sustainable cocoa economy, reflects the more detailed proposals of the Global Cocoa Agenda. The important issues highlighted by the Agenda formed the basis of many of the presentations, discussions and panel sessions that took place at the World Cocoa Conference.

The Declaration is the first step in an ongoing process aimed at creating a sustainable future for the cocoa sector and helping to ensure that its benefits are shared along the entire chain, starting with the growers. Another World Cocoa Conference, planned for 2014 in Amsterdam, is to monitor and review the progress being made to deal with the issues outlined by the Declaration and the Agenda.  

The texts of both the Abidjan Cocoa Declaration and the Global Cocoa Agenda, as well as most of the presentations that were delivered at the World Cocoa Conference, can be downloaded here.

The other signatories to the Abidjan Cocoa Declaration are: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Indonesia, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Togo, Papua New Guinea, Mars, Mondelēz International, Nestlé, Blommer Chocolate, CEMOI, Ferrero Trading, Armajaro Trading Ltd, ADM, Barry Callebaut, Cargill, Petra Foods, Amtrada/Continaf, Noble Group, Olam International / Outspan Ivoire, Touton, Transmar Group, Federation of Cocoa Commerce, CAOBISCO, World Cocoa Foundation, IDH (Dutch Sustainable Agriculture Initiative), ECA (European Cocoa Association), ACP (The Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States), Talents (farmer), ICI (International Cocoa Initiative) and HCCO (Hamburg Cocoa & Commodity Office GmbH).

The Declaration remains open, and all cocoa stakeholders are urged to sign it.

Pictured: Hershey’s Vice President Global Commodities Frank G. Day signs the Abidjan Cocoa Declaration.

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