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Amplifying Supplier Diversity

The Hershey Company has a commitment and a track record of promoting diversity, equity and inclusion.

What is Hershey’s supplier diversity program and why is it important?

At Hershey, we firmly believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are critical to our long-term success—not only in our workplace, but in the broader community. In 2020, we co-created The Pathways Project with employees and set ambitious DEI goals to hold ourselves accountable to creating a more diverse and inclusive business. Our Supplier Diversity Program is critical to delivering our Pathway to Join pillar, driving a wider range of perspectives from diverse suppliers.

Through our Supplier Diversity Program, we aim to increase the representation of, and expenditure with, companies owned by people of color (POC), women, U.S. military veterans, people living with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ individuals. By creating more economic opportunities for underrepresented groups in our supply chain, Hershey can extend our DEI impact beyond our own workforce and operations.

We recognize that entrepreneurship and business ownership are crucial ways to develop prosperous communities, creating wealth for both business owners and the people they employ. Healthy, diverse businesses are critical to ensure racial and gender economic disparities are mitigated, and  stronger, more inclusive communities prosper

Supplier diversity makes good business sense. An inclusive procurement strategy widens the pool of potential suppliers and promotes competition in the supply base, which can enhance innovation, improve quality, and drive down costs. More sourcing options can also make supply chains more resilient and agile—an increasingly important advantage in uncertain times. Finally, diverse businesses support our overall DEI goals and create a powerful way to connect and engage with existing or potential employees, customers and consumers.

Who qualifies as a diverse supplier with Hershey?

A diverse business is one which is 51 percent or more owned, managed and controlled by members of diverse groups, that is certified by a certification body or has self-declared as a diverse business. That includes POC, women, U.S. military veterans, people living with disabilities and LGBTQ+ people or other individuals that qualify as socio-economically disadvantaged. Racial and ethnic diversity is defined differently by country; for businesses in the United States and Canada, POC owners must be national citizens or permanent residents who are Asian, Black, Latin American, Native American or Aboriginal. Refer to the NMSDC and CAMSC websites for a detailed definition of who we consider to qualify as a POC business enterprise in the United States and Canada.

Our Supplier Diversity initiative includes both Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers. Tier 1 suppliers are diverse suppliers we pay directly. Tier 2 diverse suppliers are paid directly by our Tier 1 suppliers.

How can I register my business?

Hershey leverages TealBook to search for diverse vendors that meet their needs. TealBook’s vendor database uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to gather data on companies from millions of sources and populate vendor profiles linked to company domains. If you are a diverse vendor and are interested in doing business with Hershey, please create an account in TealBook and follow the instructions to optimize your profile there. Registration is free and enables vendors to be contacted by TealBook’s wide range of corporate clients.

Once a company profile is created/updated in TealBook, your registration is complete. Your company will be contacted directly if there are bid opportunities that align with the services you offer.

Supplier opportunities and requirements

We are looking for diverse vendors to support product and service needs across our enterprise and brand portfolio, including but not limited to:

  • Ingredients - cocoa, sugar, dairy, nuts, corn sweeteners, and specialty ingredients like sugar alcohol, fats and oils, colors and flavors, and flour
  • Packaging - paper (corrugate cases and multicolor merchandising units and folding carton), flexible film (labels, bags), rigid plastics (plastic bottles/cans), and aluminum foil
  • Co-manufacturing and co-packing
  • Indirect materials and services - sales and marketing, transportation and logistics, capital equipment, information services and technology, facilities services (including construction), financial services, outside services, MRO, utilities, HR services, consulting, real estate, and legal

Please visit our Supplier Portal for more information on requirements to conduct business with Hershey.  

Tier 2 program

We ask our existing and future suppliers to join us in promoting diversity and inclusion in the supply chain and increase their own spend with diverse-owned businesses.

If you are a Tier 1 supplier and are not a diverse business, we expect you to drive Tier 2 spending with diverse suppliers and may ask you to provide Hershey with a quarterly supplier diversity report. Hershey has partnered with TealBook to collect Tier 2 diverse supplier spending information in a confidential manner. In addition, the use of the TealBook reporting tool is free for our suppliers and can provide best-in-class tracking of diverse supplier spending. If you do not have a system to track your diverse supplier spending today, you can use the TealBook platform to identify this. For more information on how to generate and submit your supplier diversity report through TealBook, you can refer to the TealBook Tier 2 Program Quick User Guide and Detailed User Guide.

Strategic partnerships

Hershey supports various third-party organizations that certify and support the development of diverse businesses. Although certification is not a mandatory requirement to participate in the Hershey Supplier Diversity program, the organizations below have resources available that may help your business grow.

Some of the programs and services offered by these organizations are:

  • Inclusion in national online databases of diverse businesses that are used by corporate buyers to identify potential partners, and referrals to corporate buyers for relevant opportunities
  • Networking opportunities through opportunity fairs and matchmaker events at which diverse businesses can speak directly to appropriate representatives for hundreds of buyers
  • Working capital loans and access to specialized financing
  • Education and development opportunities including tailored programming to support capacity development, business and leadership development programs, sponsorships to attend leading executive education programs, mentorship, and content and resources for all industries and stages of entrepreneurship


Our goal and current progress

Our goal is to reach $400M of diverse supplier spend by 2030. This is a 4x increase versus our baseline year of 2020.