Hersheys under fire over child labour claims

By James Barnes

05 November 2012 at 11:47 BST

Pennsylvania-headquartered confectionary manufacturer The Hershey Company is facing allegations relating to cocoa derived from forced child labour in West Africa.

Hershey's: accused of cover up

A lawsuit has been initiated by Hershey shareholder the Louisiana Municipal Police Employees' Retirement System (LAMPERS) which claims that the company and its board of directors have been aware of the human rights abuses - particularly in Ghana and the Ivory Coast – for some time.

Leading confectioner

The suit – launched in Delaware Chancery Court one day after Halloween when chocolate sales reached some of their highest levels – is being handled for LAMPERS by Delaware securities and corporate governance law firm Grant & Eisenhofer.
‘That one of the world's leading confectioners - whose primary market is children - could exploit child labourers to meet its bottom line is an outrage,’ said Grant & Eisenhofer co-managing director Jay Eisenhofer. ‘Rather than open its records to scrutiny, Hershey over the past decade has thrown up multiple roadblocks to reasonable examination of its conduct regarding serious questions about illegal child slave labour and trafficking in its supply chain.’

Labour practices

In an email statement, reported by Court House News, Hershey said  that it 'has been supporting cocoa-growing communities for more than 50 years', adding 'We have been involved in on-the-ground programs, working with public and private partners, to help eliminate inappropriate labour practices in cocoa communities.'


Also read...

Hogan Lovells in trademark platform collaboration

Firm further enhances its trademark management efficiency with Anaqua, a new platform supporting a global collaboration.