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Thousands of Consumers Demand Hershey Stop Buying Child Labor Cocoa Before Halloween

Growing campaign on Change.org calls on Hershey to commit to buying Fair Trade cocoa by Halloween; activists release video highlighting Hershey's "child labor chocolate"

Submitted by: Green America

Categories: Fair Trade & Supply Chain, Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted: Oct 13, 2011 – 10:53 AM EST

Embedded Video:Open Press Release Video


WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 /CSRwire/ - More than 30,000 consumers have joined a popular campaign on Change.org calling on Hershey to commit to buying cocoa certified as being produced without child labor, forced labor, or trafficked labor in time for Halloween.

Raise the Bar, Hershey!, a coalition of organizations fighting the rampant and ongoing labor abuses in the cocoa industry like child slavery and child labor, is leading the campaign on Change.org following Hershey’s continued failure to make reasonable efforts to keep labor abuses out of its supply chain. Raise the Bar, Hershey! has also produced a mock-commercial which reveals the exploitation behind the “child labor chocolate” many trick-or-treaters will receive this Halloween.

“A decade ago, Hershey signed an agreement, now known as the Harkin-Engel Protocol, in which they promised to help fight child slavery and other abuses in the cocoa industry,” said Elizabeth O’Connell, Fair Trade Campaigns Director at Green America, and member of the Raise the Bar, Hershey! coalition. “Yet it has done far less than other chocolate companies to address these abuses. This Halloween, thousands of consumers are telling Hershey they’re fed up with cocoa tainted by the abuse of children.”

News of the online petition campaign’s success will increase pressure on Hershey. In addition to the petition and mock commercial, Raise the Bar, Hershey! is planning a call-in day, a Halloween costume contest to call for Fair Trade cocoa, and rallies at Hershey stores in New York, Chicago, and Niagara Falls.

“What the consumers and activists of Raise the Bar, Hershey! have accomplished is remarkable,” said Amanda Kloer, Director of Organizing for Change.org. “With limited resources but with strategic planning and execution, they’ve recruited more than 30,000 supporters, developed a brand-jamming video, and launched a social media campaign. Change.org is about empowering anyone, anywhere to demand action on the issues that matter to them, and it has been incredible to watch this timely campaign take off.”

The Raise the Bar, Hershey! campaign has been covered by major news outlets across the country, including CNN, New York Daily News, PC World, Huffington Post, and Mother Jones. Raise the Bar, Hershey! says they are hoping to get a response from the company by Halloween.

Live signature totals from Raise the Bar Hershey campaign:
Contact information for petition signers in your area can be arranged upon request.

Journalists interested in contacting Hershey’s public relations staff should try:

Andy McCormick, Vice President, Public Affairs

Kirk Saville, Spokesperson
+1 800-468-1714

The Raise the Bar, Hershey! Coalition is led by:
GREEN AMERICA is the nation’s leading green economy organization. Founded in 1982, Green America (formerly Co-op America) provides the economic strategies, organizing power and practical tools for businesses and individuals to solve today's social and environmental problems. www.GreenAmerica.org

GLOBAL EXCHANGE is a membership-based international human rights organization dedicated to promoting social, economic and environmental justice around the world. www.GlobalExchange.org

INTERNATIONAL LABOR RIGHTS FORUM is an advocacy organization dedicated to achieving just and humane treatment for workers worldwide. www.LaborRights.org

For more information on Change.org, please visit: www.change.org/about
Change.org is the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change — growing by more than 400,000 new members a month, and empowering millions of people to start, join, and win campaigns for social change in their community, city and country.

For more information, please contact:

Elizabeth O'Connell Raise the Bar, Hershey! Campaign
Phone: +1 202-872-5309
Amanda Kloer Director of Organizing, Change.org
Phone: +1 404-451-6580

For more from this organization:

Green America


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