It¡¦s only March and already it is estimated that 21 rhinos have been poached since the beginning of 2011. Over 330 were poached last year. SanParks, February 2011. In response to a dramatic increase in rhino poaching, Woolworths introduced a limited edition reusable bag which asked customers to ¡¥Imagine No Rhino¡¨, in September 2010. In partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Woolworths committed R10 from the sale of each bag to help protect remaining rhino populations from extinction. Woolworths customers have proved they are not prepared to settle for the ¡§Big 4¡¨ as approximately 32 000 of these ¡¥rhino¡¦ bags have been sold to date, amounting to a donation of R320 000. ¡§Woolworths is proud to be able to support this effort to save the rhino. It is difficult to imagine their absence on Africa¡¦s landscape,¡¨ says Justin Smith, Woolworths Good business journey manager. ¡§We would like to thank all our customers who purchased the rhino bags and supported this initiative. They are still on sale and every bag sold makes a difference.¡¨ The funds raised are being used to ensure that much-needed anti-poaching equipment and support can be secured for rangers across the region. This includes binoculars, radios, night-vision gear and bullet-proof armour, as well as rhino-tracking and camping equipment. It also helps provide essential training for anti-poaching units and can be used for emergency veterinary treatments for injured rhino. What¡¦s more, by purchasing these bags, customers are supporting local small scale reusable bag producers like Isikhwama in Cape Town and the Greater Uitenhage Sewing Co-operative in the Eastern Cape; while also helping to reduce the amount of plastic waste that goes to landfill. Smith concluded, ¡§Our commitment to sustainability is at the heart of our business, and our partnership with WWF allows Woolworths to help tackle this and a number of other environmental projects. We know our customers care about these issues and expect us to help make a difference in any way we can.¡¨ The reusable rhino bags are available for purchase at Woolworths stores for R29.95 each. For more information on how your donation is helping to save the rhino go to ENDS NOTES FOR THE EDITOR -Local Manufacturers Isikhwama, for example, which employs semi-skilled and unskilled people who were previously out of work, is one of the small enterprises benefiting from partnership with Woolies. The company, which was started back in 2004 in order to produce bags for Woolworths as part of their Enterprise Development program and to provide employment for some of the people who lost jobs when many of Cape Town¡¦s clothing factories closed their doors, today employs some 80 people and produces 20 000 bags for Woolworths every week. Furthermore, Isikhwama is 25% owned by two women who are also the production supervisors at the factory. -Local design Cape Town designers Pitchblack conceived the artwork on the ¡§rhino bags¡¨ bags. The bags call on customers to 'Imagine no rhinos' and present a simple but powerful equation: the 'Big 5 minus the rhino equals the Big 4!¡¦. -Acclaimed journey Woolworths Good business journey is a comprehensive plan to help people and planet. It incorporates a series of challenging targets and commitments centred on four key priorities: accelerating transformation, driving social development, enhancing Woolworths environmental focus and addressing climate change. For more information log on to „X International Responsible Retailer of the Year 2010 Woolworths has been named international Responsible Retailer of the Year at the World Retail Congress for the second time in three years in recognition of our commitment to sustainability and our Good business journey. Issued by: FD Media & Investor Relations Natasha Smuts 021 487 9000 / 082 776 2840 Dani Cohen 021 487 9000 / 082 897 0443 On behalf of: Woolworths For further information: Woolworths Press Office 021 407 7700 / 082 782 3856