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Hershey's Twitter Party Crashed By Fair Trade Advocates

Halloween is fast approaching, and the candy retailers are selling their wares. Halloween is the sixth biggest holiday for candy sales with over $5 Billion in sales happening each year. According to this Snopes article, the average American family now spends roughly $60 on costumes, decorations, and candy for the Halloween season.

That’s a lot of chocolate.

Given that there’s a fair amount of money to be made, it’s no surprise that Hershey’s joined with Resourceful Mom Media to celebrate the holiday with a Twitter party.

But, as often happens on Twitter, some folks entered the party to ask some questions about the company’s business practices.

I spoke briefly with Anna Lingeres, the spokesperson for Hershey’s, and she indicated that these kinds of criticisms are not uncommon for Hershey’s. She pointed to the fact that Hershey’s is a founding member of the World Cocoa Foundation, an organization that “supports cocoa farmers and their families worldwide. WCF programs raise farmer incomes, encourage responsible, sustainable cocoa farming and strengthen communities.” Hershey’s also offers this statement on their website about their “Supplier Code of Conduct.

The Hershey Company has a long history of operating with high ethical standards and integrity. We have done this by balancing our strong desire for profitable growth with our commitments to our various stakeholders, including our employees, shareholders, consumers and the communities in which we operate.

Hershey’s Supplier Code of Conduct outlines Hershey’s standards and expectations with respect to key areas of corporate social responsibility. Our goal is to work with suppliers and vendors to assure compliance with these requirements. Interested parties can view Hershey’s Supplier Code of Conduct.

But many feel that Hershey’s could do more, and go fully fair trade. Hence tonight’s issue at the Twitter party.

Not everyone took kindly to the folks raising these issues at the Twitter party.

Kristen of Rage Against The Minivan (who wrote about free trade candy here) responded.

Some folks agreed with calling attention to the issue.

Overall, though, the party was considered a rousing success by Hershey’s, and many that attended.

What do you think? Was it fair to raise this issue during the Twitter party? Will you be going Free Trade this Halloween?

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