Can you believe weeds make good compost? Woolies’ Farming for the Future shows it’s possible

Woolworths on the corner of St Georges and Strand Street, Cape Town. Photo: Courtney Africa/Independent Newspapers

Woolworths on the corner of St Georges and Strand Street, Cape Town. Photo: Courtney Africa/Independent Newspapers

Published Apr 14, 2024


Retailer Woolworths (Woolies) has launched a Farming for the Future campaign in April, Earth month, as it seeks to raise awareness of the need to create more sustainable food systems.

Latiefa Behardien, the chief Food Technology and Sustainability Officer at Woolworths, said "We recognise the urgent need for transformative action in agriculture to address climate change and ensure the well-being of generations to come.

"Through our Farming for the Future campaign, we aim to leverage our experience in regenerative farming to inspire change across the industry and drive meaningful progress towards a more sustainable food system."

By partnering with farmers who adopted restorative practices, the retailer said it sought to amplify its impact and foster a community of agricultural innovators, committed to stewarding the land for future generations.

“One of the key pillars of the campaign is the focus on cutting carbon emissions to support human survival. By adopting regenerative farming practices, farmers can play a pivotal role in sequestering carbon from the atmosphere, mitigating the impacts of climate change, and safeguarding the planet.

“Through initiatives such as composting alien plants and reducing reliance on petroleum-based fertilisers, Farming for the Future offers tangible solutions to combating climate change at a grassroots level,” it said.

Woolworths said through their commitment to partnering with suppliers that were open to using or already utilising regenerative farming methods, the retailer had significantly reduced its reliance on industrial fertilisers made from fossil fuels.

In cases where the farms are not yet compliant with Farming for the Future practices, Woolworths said it had invested years of assistance with guidance and installation of the technologies that made it possible.

“By making compost from weeds, transportation needs are minimised, and water is conserved, two confident steps towards demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship,” it said.