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11 March 2016

Hershey focused on supply chain risk assessment in Africa

Content team

Evaluating and managing supply chain risks in Africa is an ongoing priority for Hershey, the food producer's vice president and deputy general counsel has revealed.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Adrian Mebane, whose role includes taking a lead on ethics and compliance, discussed some of the strategies the company uses to tackle risk in its global supply networks.

As North America's largest chocolate manufacturer, one of Hershey's key priorities is to ensure a regular supply of cocoa from Africa.

Asked about the methods it uses to handle any issues arising in this area, Mr Mebane said one of the company's key goals is identifying the right crops and yields.

It is also pursuing a corporate social responsibility project to deliver high-level training to farmers in Ghana and the Ivory Coast.

"There's a huge amount of learning to do to make sure we have the right processes in place," said Mr Mebane.

"We have supplier codes of conduct to make sure our materials come from reputable places. From the CEO down, we're focused on risk assessment in Africa."

The overall goal is to ensure Hershey is sourcing cocoa in a sustainable way, which has involved the group making a number of key commitments in order to reach its target by 2020.

One of the steps required to help the company - as well as other chocolate producers - ensure supply chain sustainability is enforcing strict regulations on farms, with a focus on Africa.

Hershey has a highly complex global supply chain, with plants in China and manufacturing facilities in India and Mexico, alongside its various factories and other premises in the US and Canada.

Mr Mebane said the key to managing risk across this expansive network is the due diligence process, which is applied to all suppliers, business partners and other relevant parties.

Content team, Bureau van Dijk

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