The Hershey Co. said this week that 18 percent of the cocoa beans it sourced globally in 2013 was certified through sustainable practices, ahead of its self-imposed 10 percent goal.
The next goal is to reach between 40 and 50 percent certification of all cocoa purchased globally by 2016.
The cocoa that is certified as sourced through sustainable business practices is verified by independent auditors who follow international standards for labor, environmental and sustainable farming practices, according to the company.
The company also announced its Scharffen Berger brand of chocolate has reached its goal of sourcing 100 percent of its cocoa from certified farms by the end of 2013. Two more Hershey's brands, Bliss chocolates and Dagoba organic chocolate, reached 100 percent certification level in 2012.
The certification of its cocoa sourcing is part of the company's 21st Century Cocoa Sustainability Strategy, which includes education for 2 million farmers of West Africa.