We’d like to begin by assuring you that our labelling is accurate.

We work hard to provide our customers with the correct information on our labels. Our labels meet regulatory requirements.

Animal welfare
Woolworths cares deeply about the welfare of animals. We have pioneered many animal welfare practices in the retail sector such as badger friendly honey and free range eggs. While we have made progress we believe there is a lot more that we can do to continue to protect the welfare of farm animals. Apart from our animal welfare policy, Woolworths has strict standards for the production of milk that is independently audited.

Organic dairy production (and feed)
Our organic milk is independently certified against the EU organic standard, as South Africa has not yet promulgated organic dairy standards. Organic production requires that the cows who produce our organic milk are fed a certified organic diet.

Open barns and pastures
Some dairy cows are housed in open barns while others are kept in pastures. Cows housed in open barns are fed a grain-based diet. The choice of open barns or pastures depends on the location of the farm. Depending on where they are, farms experience varying climate conditions, rainfall and quality of vegetation. Our milk suppliers are located around the country close to our stores and customers to ensure that our milk is fresh.

Calves are playful animals with a specific social and hierarchical structure. This causes them to play and compete for position that often results in injury.  When injured, medicinal treatment will have to be administered, making the milk unfit for human consumption. Injury causes stress to cows and could result in compromised quality and a loss of volume. To prevent any potential injury, the calves are dehorned at the earliest possible age under proper supervision. Anesthetic has to be used for calves that are older.

The labels referred to in the blog are old. However, in principle, food labels are regulated and we have to careful to balance marketing and the regulatory framework. We change our packaging regularly, for a number of reasons:
1. In response to customer feedback.
2. New creative direction on the Woolworths brand.
3. Changing legislation.
4. Changes to sourcing, producers and production requirements.