Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hershey goes to Mexico!

I know this topic is a tad on the late side, but I had to get my facts straight before committing it to writing. First of all the rumors are true, Hershey is indeed closing plants here in the states, cutting its workforce by 11.5 % and moving jobs to a new plant in Monterey, Mexico. The times quotes Hershey CEO Richard Lenny as saying that labor costs in Mexico are 10% less than in the U.S. and that by 2010 the changes will save shareholders $190 million. This move is what the company is calling a "global supply-chain transformation." I call it GREED!

Look, I understand economics and how the money go-round works. What I don't understand is why would this great American icon let its board of directors and CEO carry out such heinous business decisions in the name of their shareholders, and then line their own pockets. I know times are tough but come on Dick this is a company built on the backs of hardworking Americans! This decision is yet another byproduct of the North American Free Trade Agreement which, from its beginning, has done more to erode the U.S. economy than perhaps any single piece of legislation in U.S. history.

Milton Snavely Hershey bailed out so many folks during the Great Depression by offering jobs, building schools and taking in young boys off the street. He even struck a deal to put chocolate in k-rations during WWII. He was quite the philanthropist compared to these money grubbers. I'm pretty sure he's turning over in his grave over this.

I would very much like to say boycott their products, but I haven't found Hershey's to be particularly tasty these days. I don't know if the recipes have changed or what but it's definitely a lesser chocolate. Now, knowing that people have had their lives disrupted for a few extra bucks makes it that much easier to steer clear.

* In December 2004, Hershey acquired the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corp. from The Shansby Group.

* In July 2005, Hershey acquired the Berkeley, California-based boutique chocolate-maker Scharffen Berger.

* In November 2005, Hershey acquired Joseph Schmidt Confections, the San Francisco-based chocolatier.

* In November 2006, Hershey acquired Dagoba Organic Chocolate, a boutique chocolate maker based in Ashland, Oregon

As of February 1st 2008 Hershey closed their Oakdale, California plant laying off some 575 workers. 


JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Wow! This is nuts! I had no idea that Hershey had acquired Dagoba Organic Chocolate. They are just taking everybody over. That is terrible! I really appreciate this post - thank you for talking about it and bringing it to our attention! Your blog is really fantastic!

Welcome to The Foodie Blogroll!

Aaron K said...

Well, I heard a gourmet chocolate group called Sconza has bought the former Hershey plant in Oakdale, Ca., and offered jobs to alot of the ousted Hershey employees. They should open up sometime in May. So, definitely keep an eye out for them and give them whatever support you can.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Will do. Thanks!

Anne said...

This is so sad to read. Milton Hershey would be rolling in his grave. His school is a fantastic example of what he really stood for.

BTW, your Foodie Joust entry is BRILLIANT!