James Nevels, chairman of the Hershey Company Board of Directors, will be a keynote speaker at the 2012 International Corporate Citizenship Conference, presented by Boston College’s Center for Corporate Citizenship, to be held next month in Phoenix. Nevels will present the story of CocoaLink: Connecting Cocoa Communities, an initiative to help farmers improve planting techniques, yields, and social conditions. The program, a collaboration by the Ghana Cocoa Board, the World Cocoa Federation, and the Hershey company, uses mobile voice and SMS text messages to connect cocoa farmers with information about farming practices, labor safety, and crop marketing. CocoaLink is part of a $10 million investment by Hershey in programs to improve cocoa communities in West Africa.
Membership in co-operative businesses has grown to one billion people across 96 countries, according to the Worldwatch Institute in its Vital Signs online publication. In 2008, the world’s 300 largest co-ops generate