(RTTNews.com) – The Hershey Company (HSY) said Wednesday that it has launched the Mexico Cocoa Project with cocoa supplier Agroindustrias Unidas de Cacao SA de CV, a member of the Ecom Cocoa Group.
This 10-year, $2.8 million project is an initiative to reintroduce cocoa growing in Southern Mexico inorder to help restore the country’s beleaguered cocoa farming industry.
Mexico’s cocoa crop has almost decimated over the last decade due to the spread of a disease called Moniliasis, also known as frosty pod rot. This disease affects the root of the cacao tree rendering its cocoa beans unusable.
The company said that the program will improve the livelihoods of more than 1,000 cocoa farmers and their families in the short term and put in place the foundation to improve the livelihoods of many more cocoa farmers and their families in the near future.
Hershey and Ecom will coordinate the program with several government agencies in Mexico and a local NGO.