Woolworths is one of the country’s largest retailers of fresh produce, currently supplying about a third of the fresh produce consumed through South African retailers. The agricultural sector is the country’s largest consumer of water with just over 50% of the country’s water supply used for irrigation. Increasing demand for water, and decreasing water quality, makes careful water management a priority in South Africa. Woolworths is working hard to minimise the effect that our business has on this scarce natural resource. Woolworths shares the growing public concern about the quality of South Africa’s water resources and is committed to continuing to promote innovative and environmentally-sound farming methods, including a reduction in the use of chemicals and pesticides. This helps to preserve the quality of South Africa’s water and manage Woolworths extended ecological footprint. These initiatives are part of Woolworths Good business journey, a plan which drives our commitment to responsible and sustainable growth. It also includes the following measures: • Woolworths fresh produce farmers have adhered to Eurepgap farming practices for nearly a decade. Eurepgap (now known as Globalgap) is an internationally recognised standard for safe and sustainable agriculture, setting guidelines for environmental and labour standards as well as product safety. • Woolworths is well-established as the country’s leading retailer in certified organic fresh produce. Certified organic foods are grown without the use of artificial chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides and comply with strict organic standards. Organic farming does not release potentially harmful chemicals into water supplies. Woolworths will continue to expand its organic food range, aiming to increase organic food sales by more than R1 billion by 2012. • Woolworths is also working with our conventional farmers to help them incorporate biological farming practises into the way they work. Biological farming seeks to establish a thriving and sustainable microbial population in the soil. This essentially uses compost and organic fertilisers and eliminates potentially harmful water contaminants while improving the natural fertility of the soil. Such farming methods will protect water supplies and ensure safe fresh produce. In addition to the above, Woolworths encourages customers to reduce water usage by ensuring that most of the fresh produce sold in Woolworths stores has already been washed and is ready to eat. Good water management and responsible farming methods are the key to preserving one of South Africa’s scarce and natural resource. Ends. Notes to Editors: Good business journey Woolworths is targeting a 30% reduction in water consumption by 2012. We will also encourage our suppliers to conserve water. The business’ efforts in this regard are illustrated, for instance, in the real estate development strategy. When considering new real estate opportunities, Woolworths will consider whether the design of the property enables the use of water and water waste more efficiently. This includes: • Storage and use of recycled and grey water systems, retaining as much water on site as possible for re-use. • Use of indigenous shrubs and ground covers, minimising irrigation needs. • Storm water management – allowing rain water to be stored and used. Such measures have already been implemented at Woolworths distribution centre in Midrand. Municipal water at the distribution centre is used only for drinking purposes. Auditing farming practices Woolworths Supplier Code of Business Principles is adopted by all suppliers who are regularly audited to help farmers align with our sustainability plan. Woolworths launched the “Woolworths eco-efficient supplier awards” in 2006 to recognise suppliers who adopt environmentally sound farming methods. The award seeks to reward suppliers for innovation in their production processes which optimise the use of resources and reduces the impact on the environment and which increase the value of products and services. Westfalia, a supplier of organic, high quality mangoes and avocado’s, won the award in 2007. Textiles and clothing Woolworths accepts that without the use of dyes and chemicals we would not be able to meet our customers needs. The Supplier Code of Business Principles ensures that the supplier base use chemicals responsibly and use those that do not pose risks to workers, customers or the environment. Woolworths local fabric mills and dye houses are required to adhere to the internationally benchmarked Dyeing and Finishing Environmental Code of Practice which seeks to ensure that no materials, dyes or chemicals used in the production of Woolworths garments or textiles presents an unacceptable risk to health or to the environment during their manufacture or disposal. Suppliers are audited against this code.