Hershey and the Ghana Cocoa Board Recognize Countrys Top Cocoa Farmers

Assin Fosu, Ghana and Hershey, Pa., August 6, 2014 /3BL Media/― The Hershey Company today recognized three of Ghana’s best cocoa farmers as part of Hershey’s Learn to Grow program, which modernizes cocoa growing to improve farmer incomes and help communities.

Three cocoa farmers – including Ghana’s National Best Cocoa Farmer of the Year – were selected by The Ghana Cocoa Board for demonstrating excellence in cocoa growing. Ghana, the world’s second largest cocoa producer, has approximately 700,000 cocoa farmers. Modernizing cocoa growing to increase yields and farmer incomes, while attracting young cocoa farmers and women cocoa farmers, are key priorities for the Ghana Cocoa Board. The farmers selected through the Hershey Learn to Grow and Cocoa Board partnership are Mr. Abraham Adusei, National Best Cocoa Farmer for 2013, and two farmers representing young and female cocoa farmers.

“We are very pleased that our hard-working cocoa farmers are being recognized by The Hershey Company for their efforts to modernize cocoa growing” said Dr. Francis Oppong, Deputy Chief Executive, Agronomy and Quality Control of the Ghana Cocoa Board. “We know that farmers will adopt better growing practices based on learning and insights. The Hershey program will provide us with better understanding of consumers’ expectations for high-quality, sustainable cocoa and expanding cocoa markets of the future.”

Next month, all three selected cocoa farmers will visit Hershey where some of the world’s leading chocolate brands – including Hershey’s Milk Chocolate, the Reese’s brand and the Hershey’s Kisses brand – are manufactured. While in Hershey, the farmers will see first-hand how chocolate is manufactured on a mass scale and the importance of high-quality cocoa to support global chocolate growth. Hershey recently invested more than $250 million to expand its West Hershey plant, creating one of the largest and most technologically advanced plants in the world.

“Improving the lives of cocoa farmers is at the heart of our sustainability strategy,” said Terry O’Day, Chief Supply Officer and Senior Vice President. “We are especially pleased that the Cocoa Board is recognizing the achievements of young farmers and women farmers, who are critical to sustaining successful cocoa farming into the next generation.”

The announcement of Ghana’s National Cocoa Farmer of the Year occurred at the Asin Fosu school in central Ghana where Hershey has established a distance learning program with Ghana students and Milton Hershey School.

At Hershey, goodness has always been about more than delicious products. For 120 years, Hershey has been committed to good business by operating fairly, ethically and sustainably to make a positive impact on society. This means contributing to a better life for its employees, consumers, communities, and, ultimately, creating a bright future for children in need. This commitment is exemplified by Milton Hershey School, established in 1909 by the company’s founder and administered by Hershey Trust Company. The children who attend the school receive education, housing, and medical care – thriving as direct beneficiaries of The Hershey Company’s success.

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