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The Hershey Company’s (HSY - Analyst Report) decision to support the San Juan de Cheni community in Junin, Peru has helped to rebuild the local economy after it was destroyed as a result of guerilla warfare. San Juan de Cheni is known for an excellent variety of cocoa, which is used for premium chocolate products. Hershey aided the economic revival of the community by funding the local infrastructure for cocoa farming.

Since 2010, with the support of its sourcing partners Romex and Mitsubishi, Hershey has been helping the community to improve the quality and quantity of cocoa produced.  Romex is one of the largest agricultural trading companies in Peru and helped to set up the agricultural infrastructure required to support cocoa farming. On the other hand, Mitsubishi helped in exporting the cocoa beans from Peru to the United States.

Hershey supports the farmers in the community by purchasing their cocoa produce. The cocoa produced in San Juan de Cheni is third party certified and conforms to Hershey’s commitment of procuring 100% certified cocoa for all its products by 2020.

Hershey supports cocoa farmers across the world. Previously, in Jun 2012, the company along with cocoa supplier, Agroindustrias Unidas de Cacao SA de CV ‘AMCO,’ a member of the Ecom Cocoa Group, initiated a $2.8 million Mexico Cocoa Project to restore the struggling Southern Mexican cocoa farming industry and to ensure a proper supply of cocoa in the future.

The rising price of cocoa is a matter of concern for the company. It needs to secure its future supply of cocoa in order to maintain its brand name and profitability in the long run.

Hershey carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Other consumer staples stocks that are worth considering include Boulder Brands, Inc. (BDBD - Snapshot Report), Pinnacle Foods Inc. (PF - Snapshot Report), and Dole Food Company Inc. . Pinnacle Foods carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while Boulder Brands and Dole Food Company carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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