Hershey’s, the illustrious chocolate company, has come under fire for alleged labor violations. The allegations are spurred by the notorious process of cocoa production, which has traditionally be rife with unfair practices and dangerous working conditions. Hershey’s has confronted these sorts of accusations in the past, but a new campaign seeks to ruffle the company’s feathers. Such campaigns are often overlooked, however, and so those involved have opted to make use of QR codes to spread the word and garner support.
The campaign is called Raise the Bar, Hershey! Several human rights groups have joined the cause, including Oasis USA and Global Exchange. The campaign has been recruiting anyone interested in promoting fair trade and human rights, especially as they pertain to the cocoa industry. Supporters are being asked to print out what the campaign refers to as “alert cards” – small printed cards that feature a QR code – and place them around Hershey products in stores.
When scanned, the codes resolve to a mobile website where more information can be found about Hershey’s alleged use of child labor and other unfair practices. One of the major goals of the campaign is to push the company to adopt the use of Fair Trade chocolate, which is produced lawfully.
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So far, more than 42,000 people have taken up the cause, filling stores with little QR codes and sending letters and petitions to Hershey executives. The campaigns organizers note that the effort may never have seen such widespread advocacy if not for the blocky barcodes.