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Hershey Gets Smart About Transparency

Leslie Turner 102015The Hershey Company is stepping up when it comes to transparency, said Leslie Turner, Hershey senior vice president, general counsel and secretary, and co-sponsor of the company’s transparency initiative, during The Center for Food Integrity (CFI) Summit, “A Clear View of Transparency,” in New Orleans, Nov. 17.

Hershey’s transparency efforts include a new consumer-focused Simple Ingredients initiative and a partnership with the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) to take the lead on GMA’s new SmartLabelâ„¢ QR code, announced Wed., Dec. 2.

The SmartLabel is a tool that gives consumers access to detailed product information via the internet or by using a mobile device to scan a QR code on the package.

“We knew we had to be smarter about the kind of tools that we use to give consumers information about their food choices,” said Turner. “This technology is really going to transform the transparency in information about food.”

Turner details Hershey’s commitment to transparency and SmartLabel during CFI’s Summit. 

According to the SmartLabel website, the SmartLabel tool and website are still under development and will be fully available to shoppers toward the second half of 2016.

Hershey is one of several companies that beta tested the new transparency index developed as a result of CFI’s transparency research that helps companies measure their level of transparency in six areas:

  1. Food Safety
  2. Impact of Food on Health
  3. Animal Well-Being
  4. Labor and Human Rights
  5. Environmental Impact
  6. Business Ethics

CFI’s 2015 consumer trust research proves that as those in the food system increase transparency, they will also increase consumer trust.

“The link between transparency and trust is real, direct and powerful,” said Charlie Arnot, CFI CEO.

“Consumers want all of the details — the good, the bad and the ugly — so they can decide for themselves.”

Download the CFI 2015 consumer trust research here. For more information, contact CFI at or at 816-880-5360.