What Does the World Need From Hershey?
A Message From Hershey CEO Michele Buck
2019 was a special year for The Hershey Company. As we celebrated our 125th anniversary, we had the opportunity to explore our rich heritage and the legacy of our founder, who instilled in our business core values that connect us to one another and to the world. The energy within Hershey was tangible as you experienced the connectedness, passion, positivity and the deep pride and appreciation we have for each other and this special company.
As I write this note, the world is experiencing an unparalleled and rapidly evolving global pandemic. In this unprecedented time, our people and our business remain grounded in our purpose to make more moments of goodness. This grounding has allowed us to focus on what is most important—the health and safety of our colleagues, family and friends and our commitment to continue making those moments of goodness in people’s lives even when physical connection is limited.
Our company is wrapped in a deep legacy of caring for our people and communities. But it is no longer enough to consider what our company is able to do for the world. Now we must answer: what does the world need from Hershey?
We continuously meet with a variety of stakeholders—consumers, retailers, investors, governments and NGOs—all asking how we, and other companies, are making a positive impact on society’s most pressing issues. This Sustainability Report seeks to address those questions.
Our products rely on a global supply chain and agricultural ingredients. Climate change poses a significant, increasing pressure on these resources and the communities where we source them. This is why we committed to the Science Based Targets Initiative in January 2019 and are well on track for the January 2021 deadline to announce our target.
We continue to make good progress within our Cocoa For Good strategy, but we know there is a long way to go to resolve some of the most pressing issues facing cocoa-growing communities, including child labor. In 2019, we began publishing on our website the findings from our Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation Systems (CLMRS) work. We will continue this practice as we expand CLMRS to cover 100 percent of our cocoa supply chain in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire in the coming years.
Last year, we published our first comprehensive human rights policy that outlines our commitment to respect human rights throughout our value chain. We’ve also begun deploying a new human rights training program to help ensure everyone across our organization understands our values and how they personally can impact human rights across our business.
The Hershey Company has more than 125 years of experience managing through tough, fast-moving and unprecedented moments—two World Wars, economic depressions and recessions, and other momentous events. Each time, we planned. We took action. We learned and adapted. And we kept our focus on making the best decisions for our employees, our partners, our stockholders, our communities and the consumers we serve.
Today, we draw on that same spirit to keep our company resilient through new challenges that are disrupting economies and societies. I remain confident in the strength and resiliency of our business over the long-term, and in our remarkable leaders and employees who are executing our strategies, reacting to current changes and capitalizing on the opportunities this change presents.
We love making the brands that become part of people’s moments big and small. Going forward, it’s this purpose that inspires us to win so that we can continue to make more moments of goodness.
Chairman, President and CEO, The Hershey Company