Ivory Coast and Hershey Co. have settled their differences regarding the price of cocoa.
The West African nation lifted its suspension of Hershey’s sustainability program after the Pennsylvania-based company committed to paying a premium on government-levied cocoa to raise money to support farmers, according to a letter from Ivory Coast regulators to the company seen by Bloomberg.
The Ivorian government and neighboring Ghana accuse Hershey, the maker of Kisses, Reese’s and other chocolate foods, of trying to avoid the $ 400 per tonne premium they put on cocoa, which aims to increase revenue for the hard-pressed cocoa. farmer. Hershey upped the market in November when unexpectedly buying cocoa in bulk via futures contracts, prices were volatile.
In a statement late Saturday, Hershey said he had paid the premium, known as the living difference, and continued to do so.
“Our sustainability program complements and strengthens our joint efforts to have a positive impact on cocoa producing communities,” he added.
Ivory Coast – the world’s largest producer of chocolate ingredients – and Ghana suspended Hershey and other chocolate producers’ ethical cocoa program on November 30. Côte d’Ivoire said the program, which allows traders to certify that cocoa beans have not been planted in protected forests or used child labor, only benefits a small proportion of farmers.
In a letter seen by Bloomberg, Yves Kone, managing director of Ivory Coast’s regulator, said the suspension in his country would be lifted by December 4 following Hershey’s commitment to pay premiums. The letter was confirmed by Kone and a spokesman for the regulator.
Ghana has not taken any decision on the suspension, a spokesman for the Ghana Cocoa Council said late Saturday.