Over 2 500 ‘tree-preneurs’ who plant, grow and sell indigenous trees are developing a regular source of income in areas with little or no access to formal employment, whilst greening the environment. In support of this initiative and to recognize South Africa’s 11th annual Arbor week from 1 to 7 September 2010, Woolworths is supporting the planting of 3 000 indigenous trees in the Vosloorus (Gauteng) area of the programme. The Wildlands Conservation Trust’s Indigenous Trees for Life programme teaches children and adults to grow indigenous trees. Once the trees have reached a specific height, the ‘tree-preneurs’ are able to trade their trees with the Wildlands Conservation Trust for food, clothing, agricultural goods and tools, or towards schooling or tertiary education fees. The trees are then either planted back into the communities or planted in Wildlands’ forest restoration projects which clear and replace alien plants with indigenous trees. Dr Andrew Venter, CEO of Wildlands Conservation Trust, says, “We began in KwaZulu-Natal 2004 with 300 ‘tree-preneurs’, and now have over 2 500 in 20 communities across KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Gauteng, producing over 380 000 indigenous trees in the last year.” “While we provide them with the seeds and training, our growers are mini-entrepreneurs. The rewards are based on effort and self-discipline and as such the programme instills confidence and a good work ethic in the ‘tree-preneurs’, teaching them business principles they can make use of throughout their lives, as well as gaining respect for the environment.” Justin Smith, Manager of Woolworths Good business journey says, “We have chosen to support the programme because of the unique combination of creating employment, developing entrepreneurs and conserving indigenous plants and trees.” For Arbor week, Woolworths will also be donating 500 trees to their MySchool initiative. Ends Notes to editors: The Wildlands Conservation Trust is a non-profit organisation based in KwaZulu-Natal dedicated to protecting the region’s natural environment. http://www.wildlands.co.za/ Woolworths Good business journey The Good business journey focuses on four key priorities – accelerating transformation, driving social development, enhancing Woolworths environmental focus and addressing climate change. See woolworthsholdings.co.za for more information. Media contacts FD Media & Investor Relations: Stacy Lee Son or Dani Cohen Tel: 021 487 9000 Email: stacy.leeson@fd.com or dani.cohen@fd.com Woolworths Press Office Tel: 021 407 7700 or 082 782 3856 Email: pressoffice@woolworths.co.za