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Hershey Company partnership helps rebuild Peruvian village

Written by Matt Paul, Reporter/Producer | Oct 9, 2013 4:15 AM
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Photo by The Hershey Company

(Hershey) -- Guerilla warfare once ravaged San Juan de Cheni, Peru. But cocoa is helping to rebuild the remote village.

San Juan de Cheni has been partnering with The Hershey Company since 2008, when Senior Manager for Sustainability Ray Major first visited the village.

Major says he was overwhelmed by the village's attitude, work ethic and hospitality.

"Peru is one of the birthplaces of cocoa," he says. "Cocoa evolved in the Peruvian Amazon and these farms showed tremendous diversity. I was taken with the community, but also taken with the potential of the cocoa to produce fine chocolate."  

The village of 200 produces 35 - 40 tons of cocoa per year, but Major says Hershey's financial support to build a nursery that has doubled the number of cocoa producing trees in the village. He's hopeful production could double in the near future too. The cocoa Hershey buys from San Juan de Cheni is used in its premium chocolate bands.

Published in Hershey, News

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