As part of its Good business journey, Woolworths is committed to socio-economic transformation in South Africa and continues to actively support small, local, community-based enterprises. The Mokodeni Pottery project in Motsware village, Limpopo, is one of the small enterprises benefiting from doing business with Woolworths. Like many rural areas in South Africa, there are few employment opportunities in Motsware village and it is frequently left to the women to fend for families of up to eight. The Mokodeni Pottery project currently supports some 25 families in the village. Making pottery is a traditional Venda craft dating back centuries; the skills are handed down from generation to generation. The Mokodeni Pottery project itself started in 1921, and today a fifth generation of talented Mokodeni craftswomen still make their pots the way their mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers did: the clay is collected from the local riverbed (a sustainable source), and each pot is shaped and painted by hand before being fired underground in the traditional manner. Every pot is a unique work of art and is signed by the potter. No potter’s wheels, electricity or other machinery is used in the production process. Woolworths involvement with the project dates back to 2004, when it was brought to their attention by a supplier. Woolworths soon began stocking the traditional Venda pots – complete with succulents and other plants — in their plant container range. In 2009 Woolworths became more actively involved in the project and in helping it grow. Looking for ways in which to expand the range, Woolworths began working with the group to develop a more contemporary range. A new range of pots planted with green indoor plants has been launched for summer & after a successful trial a range of larger pots will be sold in selected stores. Woolworths currently buys about 500 pots every week. “We’re very pleased about our relationship with the Mokodeni project,” says Woolworths Managing Director of Foods Zyda Rylands. “Not only because it gives us the opportunity to offer a unique product to our customers, but also because we’re able to see how the success of this project is contributing to the economic and social sustainability of the village while helping to preserve both an ancient craft and the local environment. Transformation, social development and preserving the environment are all key focuses of our Good business journey. We’re looking forward to continuing our involvement with these talented women and in helping them grow their business.” The smaller Venda pots planted with green indoor plants are selling from R69.99 to R99.99 and the larger pots from R99.99 to R149.99. ENDS ___________________________________________________________ NOTES FOR THE EDITOR Woolworths Good business journey Woolworths Good business journey is a comprehensive 5-year plan announced in April 2007 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. Woolworths and transformation The transformation pillar of Woolworths Good business journey embraces the dti’s broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) scorecard framework. This includes equity ownership, management control, employment equity, skills development, preferential procurement, enterprise development and socio-economic development. Enterprise development projects are defined as small existing or start-up businesses, cooperatives or other enterprises. Woolworths contributes to their future sustainable growth by supporting, mentoring and procuring their products and services.