Woolworths has always had clear guidelines on animal welfare. These include:
Woolworths was also heavily involved in the development and launch of badger-friendly honey, predator-friendly farming and sustainable fishing practices.
We do not permit:
Woolworths entire private label range of toiletries and cosmetics has been approved by Beauty Without Cruelty (BWC).
Woolworths is proud to have been the first major local retailer to stop selling whole eggs from hens kept in cages in 2004 – only whole free-range eggs are sold in Woolworths stores. We remain the only major local retailer to have achieved this.
Free-range egg production in South Africa is regulated by the Agricultural Product Standards Act. Woolworths free-range egg supplier farmers are fully compliant with the regulatory requirements and the requirements for free-range production as stipulated by the South African Poultry Association. Our free-range farmers are audited regularly to ensure adherence to our strict standards.
Our free-range hens enjoy access to ample food and water, sunshine and shade, the outdoors and protective shelters. They are fed a grain-based diet that contains no animal by-products.
The first hundred food lines “made with free range eggs” will appear on our counters in the last quarter of 2010 with seventy more appearing in 2011. We will be changing "factory-by-factory" as this is controllable and we can guarantee integrity.
Woolworths offers South African consumers the widest range of certified organic products, from pasta and peanut butter to T-shirts and towels. In February 2008 we launched over 100 new organic grocery lines which cater for both basic grocery needs and the more specialised tastes of the contemporary cook. The range includes jams, pastas and pasta sauces, rice, condiments, oils, beans, breakfast cereals, biscuits, teas, coffees, juices, nuts, chocolates and more. This has made it easier than ever for shoppers to lead a more comprehensive organic lifestyle.
Woolworths began its organic cotton journey in 2004 and has steadily increased its use of organically grown cotton over the past six years. Woolworths offers a comprehensive collection of organic cotton products in children’s, men’s and women’s outerwear and sleepwear, baby clothing, towels and bedding.
Driving innovation in clothing continued to be a strong focus. The use of organic cotton in clothing increased and garments with both 100% organic cotton and clothing with a percentage of organic cotton remain a popular choice among customers. A range of bamboo products, a natural and sustainable fibre, was introduced in women’s outerwear in 2008. Woolworths is the first South African retailer to offer organic wool and has introduced men’s formal trousers made from organic wool. A range of bamboo towels and wooden products from sustainably managed forests are available in homeware.
Along with organic wool, bamboo is one of the sustainable fibres we’re using to drive innovation in clothing and homeware products.
Bamboo is not only the fastest-growing plant in the world, it doesn’t need fertilizers or pesticides, and has no natural enemies. It simply spends its time growing. And it actually helps improve soil quality.
It is antimicrobial and absorbs moisture three to four times better than cotton; it also naturally ‘wicks’ that moisture away so that it evaporates quickly, a perfect fit for towels.
A whole range of Woolworths duvets are filled with plastic bottles.
Stronger than ‘virgin’ fibre, this specially designed fibre made from recycled plastic bottles makes our cushions, pillows and duvets beautifully fluffy and resilient.
By using such fibre, we’re saving almost 500 000 plastic bottles a year from going to landfill.
In 2009 Woolworths introduced the first 100% South African organic cotton garments for summer. The range of T-shirts for both men and women is being made from South Africa’s first commercial scale organic cotton crop, which was harvested last year in Limpopo. The planting of these 22 hectares was part of a multi-year pilot project which involved Woolworths, the Organic Exchange, ComMark, Cotton SA and the Agricultural Research Councils’ Institute for Industrial Crops. With this impressive list of associates, Woolworths has produced an exciting and fashionable range that is environmentally conscious and ecologically sound.
According to the Organic Exchange, conventionally grown cotton consumes approximately 25% of the insecticides and over 10% of the pesticides used in the world. Organic cotton, on the other hand, is produced using only natural compost and pest management techniques, making it much healthier for the environment and safer for farm workers.