The most important ingredient in Hershey’s chocolate, what makes it so delicious, is, of course, cocoa. The average consumer doesn’t pay mind to how Hershey acquires this coca. Each time you pay for a Hershey bar, you are supporting it’s production chain, which starts at the hands of children. Hershey has been behind its competitors for years in addressing issues of child labour, forced labour, and other abuses.
Recently, Hershey announced a new line of chocolate, named Bliss, that uses cocoa sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified which ensures the farms meet certain ethical standards such as safe and healthy conditions for smallholder farmers. This seems to be a step of social responsibility for the company, showcasing the ethics of the company. Although Hershey seems to be acting in social interest, the movement was the result of a threat to publicize the company’s use of child labour with a Super Bowl add, which would have resulted in public revolt against the unethical practice, thus reducing the demand and profit for Hershey bars. The “Raise the Bar, Hershey Coalition” has been campaigning against Hershey for years without success because their actions did not significantly threaten Hershey’s profit. As soon as the business’ profit was threatened, they reacted. Though they seem to be showcasing corporate social responsibility, they are in fact only acting in self-interest, which Milton Freidman discusses in the chapter entitled “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits” where he unveils the “cloak of social responsibility”(Friedman).
Friedman, Milton. “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase Its Profits.” Corporate Ethics and Corporate Governance. By Walther Ch. Zimmerli, Klaus Richter, and Markus Holzinger. Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer, 2007. 177. Site.ebrary.com: The University of British Columbia Library. Web. 9 Sep. 2014.
International Labor Rights Forum. Laborrights.org,. ‘Hershey Will Offer Certified Chocolate Following Consumer-Driven Campaign’. N.p., 2014. Web. 9 Sep. 2014. from http://www.laborrights.org/releases/hershey-will-offer-certified-chocolate-following-consumer-driven-campaign