South Africa is the 2nd largest economy in Africa, with a well-developed retail sector. South African based retailers have long established their businesses across the African continent and to a lesser degree in Europe. The biggest retailers in South Africa are Shoprite followed by Spar, Pick n Pay, and then Woolworths. In the Deloitte’s Global Powers of Retail report for 2019, which ranks the 250 biggest retail groups across the world, four of these retailers from South Africa were included.

In September 2020, two of the above-mentioned retailers have committed to the FSC mission via the FSC Trademark License Agreement (TLA).

Spar Group and Pick'n Pay Retailers Pty Ltd are retail businesses in the fast-moving consumer goods industry on the African continent. They operate in the grocery, clothing and general merchandise value chains.

Pick'n Pay believes doing good is good business and has signed the TLA for South Africa and has 749 stores in South Africa. Spar Group, which has more than 850 stores nationwide has included South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia and Eswatini within their scope of the TLA.

FSC Southern Africa has been actively supporting the retailer sector over the last year to increase their understating of FSC and their role in promoting responsible forest management via their procurement practices.

Woolworths already has a TLA and is actively using to promote their commitment to sourcing from responsible forest sources. We also have a TLA signed with Massmart (division of Walmart) who owns Cambridge Foods which is the 5th largest grocery retailer in South Africa” explains Gerard.

FSC Southern Africa will aim to support these new TLA holders in promoting more FSC content across their virtual platforms and hopefully in-store in 2021.
Despite the negative impacts of the covid pandemic, the future of FSC looks bright in South Africa.