3 Scary Reasons To Avoid Hershey’s Chocolate On Halloween

For many children, Hershey’s chocolates are a traditional part of the trick-or-treating experience.

For thousands in West Africa, where Hershey’s cocoa is grown and processed, the brand is associated with much darker traditions, like child labor, trafficking, and forced labor.

Many of the largest global chocolate corporations are sourcing cocoa beans that have been certified by independent organizations to meet various labor, social, and environmental standards. But Hershey’s has consistently refused to join them.

Global Exchange, inconjunction with Green America, Oasis USA, and the International Labor Rights Forum, recently released Time to Raise the Bar, an independent social responsibility report for the Hershey Corporation.

The report points out the chocolate giant’s lack of transparency and unwillingness to take responsibility for its supply chain by tracing practices all the way back to the raw materials.

3 of the report’s most shocking reasons you should refuse to buy Hershey’s products this holiday season:


Much of Hershey’s cocoa is sourced from West Africa, a region plagued by sourced labor, human trafficking, and abusive child labor. Hershey does not have a system in place to ensure that its cocoa purchased from this region is not tainted by labor rights abuses.


While Hershey’s CEO received an $8 million compensation package in 2009, many of the farmers who grow cocoa in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana that ends up in Hershey products are barely able to cover their costs, and as a result, use unpaid child labor and even forced labor on their farms.


Hershey points to various charitable donations to children in the US and programs in West Africa as examples of its social responsibility, yet has no policies in place to ensure that the cocoa used in its products is not produced with forced, trafficked, or child labor.

Time To Raise The (Chocolate) Bar

Hershey lags behind its competitors when it comes to purchasing cocoa that has been certified to meet certain labor, social, and environmental standards. Most major chocolate companies offer Fair Trade options now, and many smaller companies have been 100% Fair Trade for years.

Only one of Hershey’s chocolate bars, from the Dagoba line it acquired in 2006, is Fair Trade certified.

Vote with your dollar and let Hershey know that you’re not interested in any more of its chocolate treats until it gives up its harmful cocao sourcing tricks!

Pledge to Choose Only Fair Trade Chocolate and Cocoa
End Chocolate Slavery in Ivorian Cocoa Fields

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Image Credit: Flickr- booleansplit


W. C
W. C1 years ago


William C
William C1 years ago

Thank you for the information.

Helga Ganguly
Helga Ganguly5 years ago

Hershey's.Sad to associate chocolate with slavery. Nestle is suing Europe to patent Nigella flowers.

Alina Kanaski
Alina Kanaski5 years ago

Other chocolate companies are just as bad, though. All chocolate should be slavery free.

To help make that happen, encourage Nestlé to keep their promises to end slavery in their production by signing my petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/431/525/548/sell-slavery-free-chocolate/

Lynn D.
Lynn D6 years ago

Helpful, but have to check out more sources, THANKS!!!

Evgeniia Romakhova
Evgeniia R6 years ago

Guys, there is an option: buy Russian chocolates. The cows in Russia are milked by hand and very gently, so they don't suffer giving milk. The cocoa is of extremely good quality and not that expensive comparing to Swiss and Belgium options. Child labor is not used anywhere among the suppliers of Russian confectionaries as far as i know.
Only in Russian stores throughout the USA you can find real dark chocolate bars (healthier than milk variety), with 72-99% cocoa and small chocolate candies with nuts and prunes and million other fillings. Needless to mention, that Russia has banned GMO, but you might want to know that Russia NEVER had GMO in food and produce. There is no such option as organic in Russia, but surprisingly, produce from the Russian farms IS organic in most cases. I am proud of being russian and Russian natural produce, i enjoy my every minute in Russian grocery stores!
I always buy my chocolate in the nearby Russian store here in the states and i am always extremely satisfied with it. Happy Chocolate Halloween to you guys!

a             y m.
g d c6 years ago


Dorothy N.
Dorothy N6 years ago

Too bad we we can't all afford organic, fair-trade products, but glad to find out about Mars and Hershey's so as to avoid them.

Cadbury's ought to clean up on this - at least, to paraphrase others, until we find out about them.

Eileen Novak
Eileen Novak7 years ago

As mentioned by other thoughtful commentators, what are the other chocolate companies up to? Where does one get chocolate products that don't insult our sensibilities?

Lubna Ibrahim
Lubna twal8 years ago

thank u for this valuable information