BEATRICE MOULIANITAKI, Head of Cocoa Sustainability
Nearly 70 percent of the world’s cocoa comes from West Africa, and cocoa is a critical and often sole source of cash for millions of smallholder farming families. Unfortunately, these communities face environmental and economic difficulties that present various challenges for West African cocoa farmers. Many typically have low incomes, often at or below the accepted poverty line. Basic infrastructure is minimal or non-existent and land-rights are often poorly defined.
by Beatrice Moulianitaki, Head of Sustainable Sourcing
Forests. Growing up, I had never really thought a lot about them.
I like open spaces; beaches, the sea, mountains with far sights and clear skies. And I never hugged a tree as a child either. I did climb in them, but only for the sights I could see from a higher vantage point.
In school they taught us about the Amazon in Brazil; the "lungs of our earth." They had to be saved. But those were different – they were “special forests.” Not like the family olive trees I grew up with in Crete.
Every day millions of farmers in West Africa support their families and communities by growing the cocoa that goes into delicious Hershey products. They are the people behind some of our most iconic treats, so we want to help them overcome the biggest issues they face. And the pressure isn’t just on people—farming is placing strain on local environments where cocoa is grown.