letters from wooworths customers

"Talk about misleading the public with sleight of hand.

You claim only to sell free range eggs, but it now appears that your processed foods using eggs all use standard eggs. So basically you are lying to your public. I am utterly horrified at the duplicity of Woolworths and it makes me question all your other claims…..Frankly I am now seriously considering whether to support your shop in future as there are other, more honest, retailers out there."

Benedicta van Minnen
Somerset West,
Cape Town
(local paper is the District Mail)

Letters to Woolworths

"I am horrified to hear that although you are supporting such a noble case in selling free range products you are still using battery eggs in your cooked, baked and ready made meals!! As someone who is supporting your store due to the readilty available quanitites of free range products I feel sick to think I am still eating abused chickens eggs in all of your other products.

I am taking a stand to not purchase any product made without free range eggs or meat and hope that you will hear the public outcry and start supplying truly all round free range products.

Thank you and I hope to see a happy chicken sticker on your products soon!!"

Bronwyn Hayes
Cape Town
(shops at Constantia Village Woolies)

Letters to Woolworths

"Come on guys, did you really think you were going to get away with
this?? And to blame the consumer's ignorance too, tut tut. In
Afrikaans they have a lovely saying,"Hoe bome vang die meeste wind";
well you guys are going to need a lot of Enos to ease this much wind.
How did you not see this one coming?

I will now be boycotting Woolies until this situation is rectified.
You should be ashamed of yourselves on so many levels. If you are
going to do something, do it properly with integrity or not at all."

Carol Shaw
Cape Town

Letters to Woolworths

"I am shocked on learning that you do not use Free Range eggs in your food. I find this a horrible marketing tactic and am very surprised by this as I imagined Woolworths to be more ethical than this. I will not be supporting your products until this changes."

C Thomas
Southern Suburbs,
Cape Town

Letters to Woolworths

"Having been an admirer and staunch advocate of Woolworth’s free range egg policy, I am appalled to discover that in fact all products such as quiches, pancakes, cooked meals etc etc are all made with BATTERY EGGS!!!

I am SO disappointed to realize that a company for whom I have high regard and had thought of as a caring retailer, is in fact misleading the public. Please do not respond by telling me that no one has complained – surely this is because it is not public knowledge!

You are in a position to demand more free range eggs from your suppliers in order to use them for all your other products – and I urge you to use your influence to do this.

I consider your lack of transparency regarding the eggs you use to be totally unacceptable and I for one will no longer buy any of your products containing eggs until you can assure me that your “free range egg policy” extends to everything you sell."

Rosy Edwards
Cape Town

Letters to Woolworths

"I have just heard that you are using battery hens eggs in all 
Woolworth's Products…. I will no longer buy , your cakes,,,,and all products that contain battery hens eggs…please do not support this cruelty !! and I will become  fan of your shops again !"

Dorothee von der Osten

Letters to Woolworths

"Regarding the use of battery eggs in Woolworths products, I find the suggested excuses VS the supposed Woolworths “Good Business Journey” not valid. There should be no half measures when a company decides on it’s principles.. sounds more to me as if as per usual it’s ok to fool unaware customers.

Highly disappointed in Woolworths."

Kind regards
Douglas Blowers
Cape Town

Letters to Woolworths

"I think that your advertising in misleading and am very disappointed with Woolworths.  I shop regularly at Woolworths because it's where I can buy products that are ethically sourced.  Now I find that your advertising can't be trusted.  Perhaps you're not the ethical store that I took you to be.

Disappointed and angry,"

Tracy Stokes
Cape Town

Letters to Woolworths

"I was surprised to read about your double standards regarding free range eggs and would urge you to find ways of only using such in ALL your products, not only the eggs in cartons. If there is a shortage, then surely you can pressure the suppliers/industry to increase the supply. The same goes for free-range chickens.

You do a great job and I realize “Rome wasn’t built in a day” but don’t let up – keep leading the way and others will follow!"

Fran Meyer
Cape of Good Hope

Letters to Woolworths

"I … was horrified to read that you do not use free range chickens and eggs in your “cooked” products.  I actually feel sick knowing I partook in the industry of battery chickens and sick to my stomach knowing I ate it.  I, as many others, just assumed you would use free range in all your products.   

I love that Woolworths offers me free range eggs, chickens and meat.  Although more expensive, I happily purchase these products.  I also do not eat pork anymore as Animal Voice and numerous websites and programmes have shown how these poor intelligent animals are literally factory farmed! 

Woolworths is so highly respected and setting a great example for other food and clothing retailers.  Please don’t do this half heartedly in the name of profit.  It’s just wrong.  Educate people on the wrongs of factory farming and believe me, people will buy free range, no matter what.  I watch my budget carefully and if I cannot buy free range, we simply go without.

I look forward to seeing free range in all your products in the future.  Until then, I cannot purchase those products, no matter how convenient it is.  I have a conscience and have a responsibility to stand up for those for cannot."

Karin Paschen
Cape Town

Letters to Woolworths

"Get it right Woolworths!  Cost-effectiveness and profit are not everything.  Woolworths sells enough other (non-egg containing) products at what appears to be a healthy profit, to off-set against the cost of using free-range eggs in all its egg containing products.

Unless Woolworths can reassure consumers that it will not be using battery eggs any more, thus endorsing and perpetuating a cruel and pernicious practice, this particular consumer will be shopping elsewhere."

Michelle Daniels
Cape Town

Letters to Woolworths


(just some of the many so far)

"Woolworths has gone to great extent to win public confidence stating that your chicken, meat, eggs, and other produce is humanely treated, free range, organic, etc.  This not merely to convince us of the quality or health of the goods that you sell, but also very much to exhibit your ethics.  After all, Woolworths is not defined merely by its products, but its corporate being, and indeed its customers.

However, I was shocked to hear that Woolworths has deceived the public, advertising an open policy a free range eggs throughout, then using battery hens because the public has no way of identifying the deceit.

Of course, this deceit now makes us question whether any of the other ethics you publicise are in fact true, that at the end of the day, a company seeks as much financial gain as possible fueled by deceit and lies to its customers.

I hope that you will apologise to your customers…"

Alan Webber
Cape Town

Letters to Woolworths

"…I am more upset by my stupid naivety in believing that Woolworths was actually a thought leader on environmental and humane issues such as these, rather than a follower. I now realise that this perception was wrong and did not take into account Woolworths' target market, who tend to be more upmarket and educated than say the people who shop at Shoprite. In other words, Woolworths was merely reacting to what its market dictated when you introduced organic clothes and food in your stores. This might seem quite obvious to you, but comes as a shock to me nevertheless. What a shame that everything in this world should boil down to money rather than ethics…"

Amelia Mulder
Cape Town

Letters to Woolworths

"…unless this situation is taken seriously by Woolworths and urgent steps taken to rectify it, I will no longer purchase ANYTHING from Woolworths, and whilst I am certain that the R4,000.00 to R7,000.00 which I spend per month at Woolworths will not make any difference at all, I believe that if consumers used their buying power to indicate their ethical preferences, suppliers would be aware of them and would be forced to make the necessary changes.

Lastly, I believe that Woolworths are falsely advertising the sale of eggs in their store. The extremely large wall poster at Woolworths Canal Walk states that Woolworths are the (either first or only) supplier to sell ONLY free range eggs in their stores. This implies to me that Woolworths do not use anything but free range eggs in their products, and then sell those products, which is at very least misleading the consumer.

I would appreciate your comments and positive feedback."

Dianne Pitro
Cape Town

Letters to Woolworths

"Woolworths is anything but cheap, in my and most people that I know the opinion is that most of their food products are quite expensive and one could certainly get a similar product cheaper elsewhere. Having said that our groceries shopping is done almost exclusively at Woolworths, we do not shop by price but by quality and in the past on assuming that Woolworths were doing the right thing. "

Vic Pitro
Cape Town

Letters to Woolworths

"Come on Woollies.  This is not good enough.  I’m a Woollies fan and expect more from you guys."

Ingrid Crossley

Letters to Woolworths

"Woolies" is very special and dear (in more than one sense) to my wife and me for several reasons - one of which is your commitment to selling only free-range eggs! 

While I have sympathy for your stance that eggs as ingredients in foods are less visible and the customer might therefore not recognise, value and ultimately reward if they are also free-range, one might also look at your attitude as attempted "cheating".

My suggestion: Move forward! Use only free-range eggs for all your products and market this actively! If there are people who don't care chances are they are not your customers anyway, or only occasionally. Besides the cost differences will not be that great, seeing that eggs are only one of several ingredients.

Yours faithful and regular customer,"

Wolfgang Preiser
Cape Town

Letters to Woolworths

"I run a guesthouse where I do my best to only serve Free Range food.  I buy my eggs from Woolworths and encourage guests to shop at Woolworths.  I was horrified to find out that only your eggs for sale in cartons are Free Range and not ALL your other products, such as salads, etc.

Is this not false advertising?  You put up large signs in your shop saying that you are a conscious supplier of Free Range Eggs, but if most of your products are not Free Range eggs then you are actually misleading us.

I will not buy your products any longer unless they specifically say FREE RANGE EGGS are used in this item."

Cher Poznanovich
Cape Town

Letters to Woolworths

"Why is it that there is not complete honesty when it comes to our
choices as consumers?! I feed my children these products thinking they are good and wholesome, yet battery eggs are used.

Here is hoping that Woolworths will make the change and start using free
range eggs instead of the battery eggs, and also become completely honest with their consumers."

Zita Tardrew

Letters to Woolworths

"I am a huge fan of Woolworths for being a pioneer for a more humane consumer world in so many different ways – which is why I am probably one of your best customers for everything from food to your cruelty-free makeup. I was however saddened to learn that you do not use free-range eggs in your other products, and would like to urge you to begin to do so as soon as possible. I for one would be happy to pay a little more to be able to rest assured that NO chickens have been tortured for my food."

Warm regards
Anneke Brits
Craighall Park,

Letters to Woolworths

"… I also understand that perhaps supply of free range eggs may be short in relation to  your requirements but by creating demand surely the supply will increase accordingly?... Being a leader in this regard can only be good for your image"

Davina Byrne-Daly

Letters to Woolworths

"I chose woolworths (despite your hideous prices) because I was under the impression that you had integrity.  What about your sustainable retailer of the year award... wouldn't they just love to hear about this.  Really your margins can't be so under pressure.  The shops I visit are still packed despite recession worries.

I believe that if you are FORCED to include battery eggs in pre-made products - then you should disclose on the packaging that battery eggs have been used (much like smoking risks on a packet of cigarettes!).  Actually, you don't have a leg to stand on.  USE FREE RANGE EGGS in all applications okay!"

Alison Groves
(Shops at Woolworths at Campus Square,
and Northcliff Melville Times is her local newspaper)

Letters to Woolworths
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