After 100 years of excellence in cocoa production, The Hershey Company is launching a new farming initiative in the earliest place the bean was utilized, Mexico.
Cocoa was believed to be the food of the gods by many early cultures, and it still holds that same importance in the world today. In the past decade, Mexico’s production of cocoa has been drastically cut by moniliasis, a crop disease that causes the beans of the tree to be completely unusable. The Hershey Company teamed with Agroindustrias Unidas de Cacao SA de CV (AMCO) a member of the ECOM Cocoa Group, to initiate the 10 year, $2.8 million Mexican Cocoa Project in efforts to save the once plentiful tree.
On July 13, the initiative will meet in Tapachula, Chipas, in hopes to unite farmers, researchers, and the government in maintaining a sustainable method of cocoa farming. The initiative plansto plant roughly 100,000 disease-resistant trees throughout the country, in efforts to revive the birthplace of the cultivated crop. The director of the AMCO, Tonathiu Acevedo, was quoted as saying "A summit with so many important stakeholders demonstrates the power of what happens when all interested parties come together around a common cause with a goal of benefiting farm families, communities and consumers who love chocolate," reported Business Wire.