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Ivory Coast to lift suspension of Hershey cocoa sustainability schemes

Ange Aboa

Reuters

Abidjan, Ivory Coast  /  Mon, December 7, 2020  /  11:35 am
Ivory Coast to lift suspension of Hershey cocoa sustainability schemes

A worker sews up cocoa bags after drying to load them into a truck bound for the port of San Pedro, at a cocoa cooperative in Duekoue, Ivory Coast, on November 26, 2020. (REUTERS/Ange Aboa)

Ivory Coast will lift a suspension on cocoa sustainability schemes run by US-based Hershey on its territory that it imposed earlier this week, according to a letter addressed to the chocolate maker and seen by Reuters.

On Monday, Ivorian and Ghanaian cocoa regulators suspended the schemes, accusing Hershey of sourcing large volumes of physical cocoa on the ICE futures exchange to avoid paying a premium aimed at combating farmer poverty, known as a living income differential (LID).

Hershey, makers of such popular candy items as Hershey chocolate bars, Hershey's Kisses and Kit Kat, said it was fully participating in the LID and would continue to do so.

Ivorian regulator, the Coffee and Cocoa council (CCC), has since held a video meeting with Hershey representatives in which it promised to lift the suspension, according to the letter dated Dec. 4, from the CCC to Hershey.

Read also: Scared of COVID-19 this Halloween? Hershey is making an ad for that

The move "follows your definitive commitment to pay the LID", the letter said.

A CCC spokesperson verified its authenticity.

Hershey did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It was not clear if Ghana's cocoa industry regulator, Cocobod, would follow suit. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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