Dagoba Chocolate
Chocolate makers
Founded in 2001 with a commitment to socially responsible business, Acquired by Hershey in 2006.

Overall

Owned USA
Rating C
About the Ratings

Company Ownership

Dagoba Chocolate
USA
Hershey Company
owns 100% of Dagoba Chocolate
USA
Confectionery manufacturer
USA's #1 chocolate company. Bought Artisan Confections Company (makers of Dagoba organic chocolate) in 2006. The Hershey Trust (which benefits the Milton Hershey School for disadvantaged children) controls 80% of Hershey's voting power.
Hershey Trust Company
owns 80% of Hershey Company
USA
Trust company
Hershey Trust Company, founded in 1905 by iconic confectioner Milton S. Hershey, is wholly owned by the Milton Hershey School Trust, which funds the Milton Hershey School, a school for underprivileged children, also founded by Hershey. Over US$7 billion in assets.

Company Assessment

Dagoba Chocolate
Praise
As of 2012, this company's entire product line is made with cacao from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms. Rainforest Alliance certification has been dubbed 'Fairtrade light' by critics, as it offers producers no minimum price for their crop, and guarantees a minimum of just 30% of the product is certified.
Information
This company manufactures products that are certified organic by USDA Certified Organic.
Source: USDA (2018)
Hershey Company
Praise
The 2024 WWF Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard evaluates the progress and performance of 285 major retailers and manufacturer companies, focusing on actions companies have taken to ensure their own palm oil supply chain is sustainable and free of deforestation, natural ecosystem conversion, and human rights abuse. This company is rated 'leading the way' with a score of 20.1 out of a possible total of 24.
In 2023, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change risk. Responding companies are scored across four key areas: disclosure; awareness; management; and leadership. This company received a CDP Climate Change score of B.
Source: CDP (2023)
In 2023, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts towards removing commodity-driven deforestation and forest degradation from its direct operations and supply chains. Responding companies are scored across four key areas: disclosure; awareness; management; and leadership. This company received a CDP Forests score of B.
Source: CDP (2023)
The PalmOil Scan app, produced by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), rates companies on their commitment to sourcing sustainable palm oil. Companies are scored on their use of certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO), commitment to sourcing CSPO, on-the-ground conservation action, and membership to the RSPO. Companies can earn a rating of Excellent, Good, Poor or No Commitment. This company is rated "Good" (retrieved 18 Nov 2023).
Source: WAZA (2023)
In 2023, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts to manage and govern freshwater resources. Responding companies are scored on six key metrics: transparency; governance & strategy; measuring & monitoring; risk assessment; targets & goals; and value chain engagement. This company received a CDP Water Security score of B-.
Source: CDP (2023)
The 2022 Corporate Human Rights Benchmark assessed 127 companies in the food and agriculture, ICT and automotive manufacturing sectors on their human rights performance. This company received a score of 38.5%. The overall average score was a disappointing 17.3% and the highest score was 50.3%.
This company is listed as having best practice on a report card on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality in corporate America.
The 2023 Gender Benchmark ranks 112 companies from the apparel and food and agriculture sectors on their efforts to drive gender equality and women's empowerment across their entire value chain. Companies are assessed on governance and strategy, representation, compensation and benefits, health and well-being, violence and harassment, and marketplace and community. This company ranked #5/112, with a total score of 44.8%. The average score was 23% and the highest score was 55%.
This company received an S&P Global ESG Score of 70/100 in the Food Products category of the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment, an annual evaluation of companies' sustainability practices (last updated 23 Sep 2022). The rankings are based on an analysis of corporate economic, environmental and social performance, assessing issues such as corporate governance, risk management, environmental reporting, climate strategy, human rights and labour practices.
JUST Capital polls Americans every year to identify the issues that matter most in defining just business behaviour. For their 2024 rankings the public identified 20 issues, which are organised under the headings Workers, Communities, Customers, Shareholders and Environment. JUST Capital then define metrics that map to those issues and track and analyse the largest, publicly traded U.S. companies. This analysis powers their rankings, in which this company ranked 109th of 937 companies, and 3rd of 32 Food, Beverage & Tobacco companies.
The 2023 Food and Agriculture Benchmark assessed 350 keystone companies across the entirety of the food system, from farm to fork. It covers three dimensions where transformation is needed: nutrition, environment and social inclusion. This company ranked #23/350, with a total score of 41.2/100.
Criticism
This company sources palm oil from at least 20 of the 25 dirty palm oil producers identified in the 2018 Greenpeace report "The Final Countdown". In addition to deforestation, the 25 individual cases in the report include evidence of exploitation and social conflicts, illegal deforestation, development without permits, plantation development in areas zoned for protection and forest fires linked to land clearance.
As You Sow's 2024 Plastic Promises Scorecard measures the corporate ambition and action of 225 large companies across six industries on six core pillars of plastic packaging pollution prevention: 1) Recyclability, 2) Reduction, 3) Recycled Content, 4) Recovery, 5) Reuse, and 6) Producer Responsibility. This company received a grade of F.
In 2019 Rainforest Action Network (RAN) conducted a series of undercover investigations which showed that several major snack food producers, including this company, have been found purchasing palm oil from mills that have continued to source palm oil resulting from the illegal clearing of lowland rainforests within the nationally protected Rawa Singkil Wildlife Reserve in Indonesia. These mills are located immediately next to areas of illegal encroachment into the Leuser Ecosystem and lack the necessary procedures to trace the location where the palm oil they sell is grown, a key requirement for complying with the No Deforestation, No Peatlands, No Exploitation (NDPE) policy this company has publicly committed to.
Source: RAN (2019)
A 2022 BBC News, Mongabay and the Gecko Project released a joint investigation that looked into a scheme that was intended to help lift millions of Indonesians out of poverty and cut them in on the spoils of the global palm oil boom, but has instead been plagued by allegations of exploitation and illegality. They identified 13 companies, including this one, that have sourced palm oil from producers alleged to have withheld plasma (a portion of large-scale plantations to be shared with local communities), or the profits from plasma, from Indonesian communities over the past eight years. The losses suffered across Indonesia by communities owed plasma could stretch into the hundreds of millions of dollars each year. Protests by local tribes over plasma are violently suppressed by Indonesian authorities.
The Green Supply Chain Corporate Information Transparency Index (CITI) evaluates consumer-facing companies that have a sizeable supply chain in China. The evaluation uses government supervision data and public information to assess the environmental management of their supply chains in China. This company received a score of 13.18/100 (retrieved 24 Nov 2023).
Source: IPE (2023)
A 2017 investigation by Mighty Earth, "Chocolate's Dark Secret," found that a large amount of the cocoa used in chocolate produced by major chocolate companies, including this one, is grown illegally in national parks and other protected areas in Ivory Coast and Ghana. The countries are the world's two largest cocoa producers. The report documents how in several national parks and other protected areas, 90% or more of the land mass has been converted to cocoa. Less than four percent of Ivory Coast remains densely forested.
In May 2024 Investor Advocates for Social Justice and investors representing more than $8.8 trillion USD called on chocolate companies, including this one, to use their purchasing power to ensure West African cocoa farmers receive a living income for their cocoa. Chocolate companies continue to profit off the backs of child laborers, with an estimated 1.56 million children working on cocoa plantations in Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, where 60% of global cocoa supply is produced. Systemic poverty in the region is a driver of child labor, deforestation, and other human rights abuses in the cocoa sector. Despite chocolate companies' commitments over the decades to eradicate child labor, little progress has been made.
Source: IASJ (2024)
The 2021 Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) report ranks global food companies on how they are managing and reporting their farm animal welfare policies and practices. This company appeared in tier 5, "On the business agenda but limited evidence of implementation", with tier 1 being the best, and tier 6 the worst.
In 2022 the median pay for a worker at this company was US$39,579. The CEO was paid 342 times this amount. Exorbitant CEO pay is a major contributor to rising inequality. CEOs are getting more because of their power to set pay, not because they are increasing productivity or possess specific, high-demand skills. The economy would suffer no harm if CEOs were paid less (or taxed more). In contrast, the CEO-to-typical-worker compensation ratio was 20-to-1 in 1965 and 58-to-1 in 1989.
Information
In 2018 volunteers collected and catalogued more than 187,000 pieces of trash from beach cleanups around the world to find out which corporations are contributing the most to the global plastic pollution problem. While not in the top 10, this company ranked as one of the world's worst plastic polluters.
This company appears on Global Exchange's list of "Most Wanted" Corporate Human Rights Violators "Alums" for refusing to use fair trade labour and continuing to support labour that violates human rights standards. [Listed under Information due to age of report]
In 2015 As You Sow, a consumer health protection organization, commissioned testing to measure levels of lead and cadmium in 42 chocolate products available at retailers across California. Products by this company were found to contain unsafe levels of lead and cadmium.
In 2022 Consumer Reports, an independent nonprofit member organisation, tested 28 dark chocolate bars for lead and cadmium. Products by this company were found to contain unsafe levels of lead.
This 2014 report by Friends of the Earth documents a tenfold increase in unregulated, unlabeled "nanofood" products on the American market since 2008. The report named this company among those with products containing unlabeled nano-ingredients. These nanomaterials differ significantly from larger particles of the same chemical composition, and new studies are adding to a growing body of scientific evidence indicating they may be more toxic to humans and the environment.
Source: FOE (2014)
This company has products rated RED in the Centre for Food Safety's True Food Shopper's Guide (USA). Products on the RED list contain ingredients that come from the most common GE crops (corn, soy, canola, cotton). Companies with products on this list have confirmed that their products may have or are likely to be made with GE ingredients, or have not denied using GE foods when given the opportunity to do so.
This company is a member of The Protein Challenge 2040, a global coalition exploring how we feed nine billion people enough protein in a way which is affordable, healthy and good for the environment.
As listed on the We Mean Business website, this company has committed to the following climate action initiatives: adopt a science-based emissions reduction target.
This company is a member of the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), an international membership organization representing more than 100 member companies across the cocoa value chain. WCF is committed to creating a sustainable cocoa economy through economic & social development and environmental stewardship in cocoa-growing communities.
This company is a member of Bonsucro - Better Sugar Cane Initiative, a global non-profit, multi-stakeholder organisation fostering the sustainability of the sugarcane sector through its leading metric-based certification scheme and its support for continuous improvement for members.
This company has products that have been verified as compliant with the Non-GMO Project Standard, North America's only independent verification for products made according to best practices for GMO avoidance.
This company is a member of the Cocoa & Forests Initiative, demonstrating a commitment to no further conversion of any forest land for cocoa production in Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire. On March 2019, thirty-three company signatories, accounting for about 85% of global cocoa usage, released detailed individual action plans. The action plans focus on forest protection and restoration, sustainable cocoa production and farmers' livelihoods, and community engagement and social inclusion.
This company received a score of 64.7/100 in the Newsweek Green Ranking 2017, which ranks the world's largest publicly traded companies on eight indicators covering energy, greenhouse gases, water, waste, fines and penalties, linking executive pay to sustainability targets, board-level committee oversight of environmental issues and third-party audits. Ranking methodology by Corporate Knights and HIP Investor.
This company is a member of the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (Sedex), a not-for-profit, membership organisation that leads work with buyers and suppliers to deliver improvements in responsible and ethical business practices in global supply chains. Tens of thousands of companies use Sedex to manage their performance around labour rights, health & safety, the environment and business ethics.
This company is a member of the Global Shea Alliance (GSA), a non-profit industry association with 560 members from 35 countries including women's groups, brands and retailers, suppliers and NGOs. Through public-private partnership, the GSA promotes industry sustainability, quality practices and standards, and demand for shea in food and cosmetics. Nearly 2 billion shea trees grow naturally on parklands in 21 African countries stretching from Senegal to South Sudan, while 16 million women living in rural communities individually collect fresh shea fruits and kernel for processing. The shea industry provides a critical source of jobs and incomes to often poor and underserved communities.
This company is a Silver Member of the Sustainable Brands Network, the leading peer to peer, learning and networking group designed to support brands in meeting their sustainability goals and ultimately become those leaders of the next sustainable economy.
This company is a member of How2Recycle. The How2Recycle Label is a voluntary, standardized labeling system that clearly communicates recycling instructions to the public. It involves a coalition of forward thinking brands who want their packaging to be recycled and are empowering consumers through smart packaging labels. Companies must be a member of the program to use the How2Recycle Label.
This company is a member of the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform, the main food industry initiative supporting the development of sustainable agriculture worldwide. Created by Nestle, Unilever and Danone in 2002, the SAI Platform is a non-profit organization to facilitate sharing, at precompetitive level, of knowledge and initiatives to support the development and implementation of sustainable agriculture practices involving the different stakeholders of the food chain.
Forest 500 identifies the 350 companies and 150 financial institutions with the greatest exposure to tropical deforestation risk, and annually assesses them on the strength and implementation of their deforestation and human rights commitments. This company received a score of 53.6%.
EWG's 2015 report "BPA in Canned Food" analyzed 252 canned food brands to find out which ones are still using BPA (bisphenol A), a synthetic estrogen found in the epoxy coatings of food cans which has been linked to many health problems. This company was amongst the 'Uncertain Players' for not making it clear whether they were using BPA in their cans.
In 2023 KnowTheChain benchmarked 60 food and beverage companies on their efforts to identify and tackle forced labour risks in their supply chains. This company received a score of 38/100. The average score was a disappointing 16/100 and the highest score was 56/100.
California, the UK and Australia have all enacted legislation requiring companies operating within their borders to disclose their efforts to eradicate modern slavery from their operations and supply chains. Follow the link to see this company's disclosure statement.
Be Slavery Free's 2024 Chocolate Scorecard rates all the major chocolate companies on their labour and environmental policies and practices. Companies were asked questions in six areas: traceability and transparency; living income; child labor; deforestation and climate; agroforestry; and pesticides. This company received a yellow rating: "Progressing in policy and practice."
OpenSecrets.org tracks the influence of money on U.S. politics, and how that money affects policy and citizens' lives. Follow link to see this company's record of political donations, lobbying, outside spending and more.
Friends of the Earth's 2014 report "Tiny Ingredients, Big Risks" names this company as one of over 200 transnational food companies engaged in nanotechnology research and development, and on their way to commercializing products. New studies are adding to a growing body of scientific evidence indicating nanomaterials may be toxic to humans and the environment.
Source: FOE (2014)
Hershey Trust Company
No assessment data currently available for Hershey Trust Company.

Company Details

Type:
Wholly-owned subsidiary

Contact Details

Address:
USA
Website:
www.dagobachocolate.com

Products / Brands

Dagoba Chocolate / Fresh Food Enterprises (importer/distributor)
Dagoba Chocolate
★ certified organic