Woolworths is one of South Africa’s most prestigious retailers and leaders in sustainability in the retail sector. Blue North have been commissioned by Woolworths to build three custom sustainability frameworks which will be integrated into the Sherpa platform and used by Woolworths’ food suppliers as a strategic sustainability management tool.

One framework will be built for sites that supply Woolworths with seafood from aquaculture operations, another for those supplying Woolworths with seafood that comes from wild fisheries and another for those that do food processing for Woolworths (including anything from ready-made meals to coffee). All three sustainability frameworks will be built to include social, economic and environmental sustainability subject areas, but the content in the frameworks will be customised depending on the operation and commodity type. This customisation process ensures that the frameworks address specific sustainability topics inherent to an operation type, for example; ensuring animal welfare in aquaculture operations, minimising bycatch in fisheries, and eliminating food waste in food processing factories. Secondly, it provides the opportunity to incorporate Woolworths-specific sustainability priority areas, goals and targets into the framework content.

Once the frameworks have been developed, the next phase of the project is to onboard Woolworths suppliers onto the Sherpa platform.