Labor rights and fair trade groups have been putting pressure on Hershey for several years to improve its practices in West Africa, where chocolate farms use forced child labor for agricultural work.
The International Labor Rights Forum scheduled an advertisement to run during the Superbowl. More than 100,000 people have signed petitions and written to Hershey asking the company to change its practices. And they've just announced that by the end of 2012, they will use independently certified chocolate in its "Bliss" products.
Hershey sells more than two dozen brand names (including Dagoba and Sharffenberger, in case you thought they were still independently owned), and the Bliss line accounts for a relatively minor portion of Hershey's $6 billion on annual revenues.
So keep the pressure on. Sign the petition here, if you're so inclined, or go to the Hershey's web site and send them a note directly. Meanwhile, when you're buying chocolate (or coffee or tea), look for the Fair Trade label.