Stores ban together to get Hershey to stop using child labor

On Aug 23 a letter was signed by many consumer-owned grocery cooperatives who banned together to call for Hershey to stop using child labor at their cocoa fields in the Côte D’Ivoire. The retailers are asking Hershey to fully commit to using fair trade standards. Here is the letter they signed for one’s convenience.


August 23, 2012

The Hershey Company
100 Crystal A Drive
Hershey, PA 17033

Dear Hershey Company Board of Directors;

As natural grocers and food co-ops, we share a passion with our customers for high quality products that help foster a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.

Our committed pursuit of sustainable and socially responsible products means we care deeply about links between the chocolate brands we offer and the horrific stories of forced child labor and human trafficking in the West African cocoa industry. As you know, in Cote d’Ivoire alone, the US State Department estimates that more than 109,000 children work in the cocoa industry under the “worst forms of child labor,” and that some 10,000 or more are victims of human trafficking and enslavement.

We acknowledge Hershey’s recent pledge to ethically source a small amount of the company’s overall chocolate by working with Rainforest Alliance to certify your Dagoba and Bliss lines; however, this does not erase the fact that Hershey’s profits are earned at the expense of children. Hershey’s apparent unwillingness to commit to purchasing significant amounts of ethically sourced cocoa is puzzling considering that several of your major competitors have made already significant commitments to buy independently-certified, ethical cocoa.

Therefore, we have strong concerns about carrying any Hershey products, including your Dagoba and Scharffenberger lines, until the Hershey Company demonstrates its commitment to being a leader in the movement for independently-certified chocolate, which meets or goes beyond the standards of Fair Trade, instead of just barely keeping pace with its competitors.

We appeal to you and the Hershey Company’s legacy of caring for disadvantaged children. Please consider our concerns so that we can continue to work together in the future to meet the growing demand for socially and environmentally responsible chocolate.


  1. Amazing Grains Natural Foods Market 214 Demers Avenue Grand Forks, ND 58201
  2. Ashland Food Co-op 237 N. First St. Ashland, OR 97520
  3. Basics Cooperative 1711 Lodge Drive Janesville, WI 53545
  4. Bare Essentials Natural Market 273 Boone Heights Drive Boone, NC 28607
  5. Bloomingfoods Market & Deli 316 West 6th St Bloomington, IN 47404
  6. Bloomingfoods Market & Deli: (Kirkwood) 419 East Kirkwood Avenue Bloomington, IN 47404
  7. Bloomingfoods Market & Deli: (Third St.) 3220 East 3rd St Bloomington, IN 47404
  8. BriarPatch Coop 290 Sierra College Drive Grass Valley, CA 95945
  9. Chatham Marketplace 480 Hillsboro St. Pittsboro, NC 27312
  10. Chico Natural Foods Cooperative 818 Main Street Chico, CA 95928
  11. Common Ground Food Co-op 300 South Broadway Avenue #166 Urbana, IL 61802
  12. Community Food Co-op (Cordata) 315 Westerly Rd. Bellingham WA 98226
  13. Community Food Co-op (Downtown) 1220 North Forest Street Bellingham, WA 98225
  14. Community Food Co-op (Downtown) 44 E. Main Street Bozeman, MT 5971
  15. Community Food Co-op (West Main) 908 West Main Street Bozeman, MT 59715
  16. Durango Natural Foods 575 East 8th Avenue Durango, CO 81301
  17. East Side Food Co-op 2551 Central Avenue Northeast Minneapolis, MN 55418
  18. Elm City Market 777 Chapel Street New Haven, CT 06510
  19. First Alternative Co-op (North) 2855 NW Grant Ave. Corvallis, OR 97330
  20. First Alternative Co-op (South) 1007 SE Third St. Corvallis, OR 97333
  21. Friendly City Food Co-op 150 East Wolfe Street Harrisonburg, VA 22802
  22. Good Earth Market 3024 2nd Avenue North Billings, MT 59101
  23. Grain Train Natural Foods Market 220 East Mitchell Street Petoskey, MI 49770
  24. GreenTree Cooperative Grocery 214 N Franklin Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858
  25. Hendersonville Community Co-op 715 South Grove Street Hendersonville, NC 28792
  26. Hungry Hollow Co-op 841 Chestnut Ridge Road Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977
  27. JIMBO’s…Naturally 10511 4S Commons Drive, San Diego, CA 92127
  28. JIMBO’s…Naturally 1633 S. Centre City Pkwy, Escondido, CA 92025
  29. JIMBO’s…Naturally 1923 Calle Barcelona Carlsbad, CA 92009
  30. JIMBO’s…Naturally 12853 El Camino Real, San Diego, CA 92130
  31. Los Alamos Cooperative Market 95 Entrada Drive Los Alamos, NM 87544
  32. Maple City Market 314 South Main Street Goshen, IN 46526
  33. Medford Food Co-op 945 South Riverside Avenue Medford, OR 97501
  34. Middlebury Co-op 1 Washington St # 1 Middlebury, VT 05753
  35. Mountain View Market 1300 El Paseo, Ste. M Las Cruces, NM 88001
  36. Neighborhood Co-op Grocery 1815 W. Main Street Carbondale, IL 62901
  37. New Leaf Community Market (Capitola) 1210 41st Avenue Capitola, CA 95010
  38. New Leaf Community Market (Downtown) 1134 Pacific Avenue Santa Cruz, CA
  39. New Leaf Community Market (West Side) 1101 Fair Avenue Santa Cruz, CA
  40. New Leaf Community Market (Half Moon Bay) 150 San Mateo Road Half Moon Bay,
  41. New Leaf Community Market (Evergreen) 5667 Silver Creek Valley Road San Jose, CA
  42. New Leaf Market 1235 Apalachee Pkwy Tallahassee, FL 32301
  43. Oliver’s Market – Cotati 546 East Cotati Ave., Cotati, CA 94931
  44. Oliver’s Market – Montecito 560 Montecito Center, Santa Rosa, CA 95409
  45. Oliver’s Market – Stony Point 461 Stony Point Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95406
  46. Olympia Food Co-op (Eastside) 3111 Pacific Ave SE Olympia, WA 98501
  47. Olympia Food Co-Op (Westside) 921 Rogers St NW Olympia, WA 98502-4650
  48. PCC Natural Markets (Kirkland) 10718 N.E. 68th Kirkland, WA 98033
  49. PCC Natural Markets (Edmonds) 9803 Edmonds Way Edmonds, WA 98020
  50. PCC Natural Markets (Fremont) 600 N. 34th Seattle, WA 98103
  51. PCC Natural Markets (Greenlake) 7504 Aurora Ave. N. Seattle, WA 98103
  52. PCC Natural Markets (Issaquah) 1810 12th Ave N.W. Issaquah, WA 98027
  53. PCC Natural Markets (Redmond) 11435 Avondale Road N.E. Redmond, WA 98052
  54. PCC Natural Markets (Seward Park) 5041 Wilson Ave. S. Seattle, WA 98118
  55. PCC Natural Markets (View Ridge) 6514 40th Ave. N.E. Seattle, WA 98115
  56. PCC Natural Markets (W. Seattle) 2749 California Ave. S.W. Seattle, WA 98116
  57. Port Townsend Food Co-op 414 Kearney Street Port Townsend, WA 98368
  58. Quincy Natural Foods Co-op 269 Main Street Quincy, CA 95971
  59. River Valley Market PO Box 1245 Northampton, MA 01061
  60. Skagit Valley Food Co-op 202 South 1st Street Mount Vernon, WA 98273
  61. Sno-Isle Natural Foods Co-op 2804 Grand Avenue Everett, WA 98201
  62. Sundance Natural Foods 748 East 24th Avenue Eugene, OR 97405
  63. The Co-op Natural Foods 2504 South Duluth Avenue Sioux Falls, SD 57105
  64. Ukiah Natural Foods Co-op 721 South State St. Ukiah, CA 95482
  65. Whole Foods Co-op 610 East 4th Street Duluth, MN 55805

To sign on email


About Haley Behre

I graduated from Syracuse University in December 2011 with majors in newspaper journalism and women and gender studies. Using these majors, I aspire to become a journalist who writes about human rights issues. I have held internships at the Syracuse New Times, Dash Media PR Firm, Syracuse Post-Standard and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. I also had an internship at the Not For Sale Campaign Syracuse chapter, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking. I was born in Seoul, Korea on September 30, 1990 and moved to the United States before I was one year old. When I was 8, my family and I moved to Norwich, England for three years. While I was here I was immersed into a new culture and got to experience many things other children my age do not get to. Over the three years, I visited Ireland, France and the Netherlands several times, and Belgium, Wales and Sweden once. In the winter of 2010, I got an amazing opportunity to visit Kenya for a month. This was by far the single most eye-opening experience of my life thus far. The natural beauty of the landscape and its people do not compare to anything I have seen. I currently intern for the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press in the hopes of getting a full-time job at a newspaper or non-profit after.
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