HERSHEY, PA. – The Hershey Co. plans to source 100% certified cocoa for its global chocolate product lines by 2020, the company said Oct. 3. Independent auditors will assure the cocoa is grown in line with internationally recognized standards for labor, environmental and better farming practices.

Certified cocoa currently accounts for less than 5% of the world’s cocoa supply. West Africa produces about 70% of the world’s cocoa.

“Consistent with Hershey’s values, we are directly addressing the economic and social issues that impact West Africa’s 2 million cocoa farmers and families,” said J.P. Bilbrey, president and chief executive officer of The Hershey Co.

The company is in the process of having Rainforest Alliance certify Hershey’s Bliss chocolates by the end of the year. Hershey’s Dagoba organic chocolate already is 100% certified by Rainforest Alliance. Hershey said its Scharffen Berger brand will source 100% certified cocoa by the end of 2013.