Hershey does not tolerate child or forced labor in our operations and in our value chain.
One of the ways we combat forced labor is through our commitment to responsible recruitment and employment, and our endorsement of the Priority Industry Principles and the Employer Pays Principle. Through our saliency assessment, we identified forced labor as a priority issue for Hershey’s human rights due diligence efforts. While the causes of forced labor are complex, Hershey recognizes the importance of promoting responsible recruitment and employment practices to ensure that no workers in our supply chain find themselves in situations of forced labor.
Some of our activities to promote responsible recruitment and employment are outlined below.
Our Responsible Recruiting & Employment Policy outlines our global standard for responsibly recruiting workers employed by third parties that support Hershey. It is meant to be used in conjunction with, and provide additional guidance beyond, our Supplier Code of Conduct by our third-party labor providers. We are also partnering with the Responsible Labor Initiative (RLI) to offer training to our buyers and suppliers, and to implement specialized forced labor audits when deemed necessary.
The RLI is a multi-stakeholder, multi-industry initiative focused on ensuring that the rights of workers who are vulnerable to forced labor in global supply chains are consistently respected and promoted. Through our participation in the RLI, Hershey has the opportunity to leverage industry best practices and tools, including training resources, risk assessment tools, and migration corridor data and research, among other resources. Participating in the RLI also allows Hershey to support advocacy efforts and larger initiatives to address the root causes of forced labor and recruitment-related issues.
Hershey recognizes that our suppliers have different levels of maturity when it comes to responsible recruitment practices, and we actively seek opportunities to partner with our peers and industry to support continuous improvement. In 2020, six of Hershey’s Malaysian-based suppliers from a range of procurement categories participated in a virtual responsible recruitment capacity building series convened by AIM-PROGRESS and led by ELEVATE. The program helped communicate brand expectations around responsible recruitment and provided practical guidance on how to strengthen existing recruitment and employment practices of migrant workers.
These responsible recruitment and employment programs work together with our broader efforts to combat forced labor though our Responsible Sourcing Supplier Program as well as in our commodity supply chains, including use of certifications and on-the-ground programs.