Hershey, PA — The Hershey Co. has restored the infrastructure of a cocoa farming community in Peru devastated by guerilla warfare, San Juan de Cheni, the company reports.
Since Hershey became involved two years ago, the community has more than doubled its cocoa production capacity from farms with approximately 500 trees to an upwards of 50 farms with more than 1,100 trees per hectare. Hershey helped train the farmers to use grafting methods and build a nursery to increase tree stock. The company also aided in construction of a fermentation center, waste-controlling septic system and a cocoa warehouse. In addition, Hershey helped fund construction of a community computer center, the village's first public meeting area.
The initiative is part of Hershey’s 21st Century Cocoa Sustainability Strategy to improve the lives of cocoa farmers and their communities. The cocoa Hershey purchases from San Juan de Cheni is third-party certified and contributes to the company’s commitment to source 100 percent certified cocoa in all of its products by 2020.