The Hershey Company (a DiversityInc Noteworthy Company) and the government of Côte d'Ivoire have announced a new partnership to increase the company's sourcing of cocoa processed in Côte d'Ivoire.
They also agreed to expand Hershey's successful Energize Learning initiative to Côte d'Ivoire, aiming to improve nutrition, increase school enrollment, attendance and retention and to further develop domestic food production. The agreements come after two days of meetings between Hershey management and his excellency Daniel Kablan Duncan, Vice President of Cote d'Ivoire, and a delegation of high-ranking government officials.
Côte d'Ivoire has focused recently on increasing cocoa processing in the country. With today's announcement, Hershey and Cote d'Ivoire will work together on ways to increase Hershey's sourcing of cocoa products that are processed in country. Additionally, in partnership with Côte d'Ivoire's National Nutrition Council, Hershey will produce and distribute a vitamin and mineral-fortified, nut-based nutritional supplement, ViVi, to approximately 25,000 Ivorian students, starting in 2018.
"Côte d'Ivoire has been one of our most important partners for sourcing cocoa," said Terence O'Day, Senior Vice President, Chief Product Supply and Technology Officer, The Hershey Company. "We are building on our collaborative relationship with Cote d'Ivoire to strengthen the cocoa sector and support children in those communities so they are able to focus on their studies, rather than their stomachs."
"Working with Hershey, we will be able to continue to expand our cocoa industry and provide children in the cocoa communities of Cote d'Ivoire with a snack that is not only nutritious, but also locally produced," said Vice President Duncan. "We are proud to work with Hershey and build on our partnership to help improve the well-being of our cocoa communities and health and nutrition of children as we work to alleviate poverty in these regions."
Côte d'Ivoire is the world's top exporter of cocoa and boasts a rapidly growing economy. While the future is promising, access to basic nutrition remains a challenge. The National School Feeding Counsel will distribute the ViVi nutritional supplement to children in Côte d'Ivoire, focusing on cocoa-producing communities.
Energize Learning is part of Hershey's shared social purpose, Nourishing Minds. Using its expertise in food production and processing, Hershey is providing children with the basic nutrition they need to learn and grow. This partnership moves Hershey one step closer toward its goal of nourishing one million children by 2020.
For more information visit NourishingMinds.com.
To learn more about Hershey's and career opportunities, visit: www.thehersheycompany.com