A high-tech protest against Hershey
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Robin Shreeves
July 15, 2011

At the height of S’mores season, protesters are leaving cards with QR codes near Hershey’s chocolate products in stores to alert shoppers of the problems with the company’s cocoa sourcing problems


photo: Sancho McCann/Flickr
It seems that one of the first things I see when I walk in almost any grocery store this summer is a special display with all the ingredients you need for S’mores. Hershey Chocolate Bars, Jet-Puffed Marshmallows, and graham crackers are displayed together to tempt shoppers to throw them in their shopping cart.
I wonder if I took a good look at the display if I’d see any of the Consumer Alert cards that people are leaving near the Hershey chocolate. Raise the Bar created the cards, which anyone can print out and surreptitiously place near Hershey products. Raise the Bar is a consumer group that’s asking “Hershey to be a leader in responsible chocolate and shift toward Fair Trade Certified cocoa.”
The cards (pictured at right) feature a QR code that can be scanned with a smartphone that will lead consumers directly to information about Hershey’s unfair labor practices. They can take action right there in the supermarket aisle if they choose to.
Change.org  reports that consumers have been asking Hershey for years now to do what it committed to doing 10 years ago – “eliminating abusive child labor, forced labor and trafficking from their cocoa supply chains.” But Hershey still sources much of its cocoa from West African cocoa farms where abuses continue.
Since Hershey has not followed through on its commitment to source sustainably and fairly, consumers are taking matters into their own hands. In addition to the Consumer Alert cards being placed in S’mores displays, there’s a petition on Change.org asking Hershey to Raise the Bar. 
Until Hershey’s changes the way they source their cocoa, you don’t have to give up your S’mores if you’re joining the protest. There are plenty of chocolate companies that make milk chocolate bars from fairly sourced cocoa that, in my opinion, are much better tasting than Hershey’s chocolate bars. Here are a few of my favorites that come in big bars suitable for S’mores.
Do you use a fairly sourced chocolate in your S’mores or just for munching on? Which brand do you use?

A high-tech protest against Hershey


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