For the second year running the Woodland free range egg brand, developed by Noble Foods and available exclusively through Sainsbury’s, has been awarded with a Business in the Community (BITC) Big Tick Award for Cause Related Marketing – where companies demonstrate publicly their brand values and use their marketing to raise awareness of key social issues.
Now in their 11th year, the coverted ‘Big Tick’ acknowledges companies across the UK for the positive impact their responsible business operations and activities have in the marketplace, the workplace, the environment and the community.
Woodland Eggs was launched by Sainsbury’s and its egg supplier, Noble Foods, in 2004 following feedback from their free-range egg producer, John Widdowson, on the behavioural benefits of a tree planted environment for hens. Sales of the Woodland brand have increased three fold in the past three years and it is now sold through all Sainsbury’s stores.
One of the criteria for producers participating in the Woodland Egg scheme is to have a minimum of 20% of their range planted with trees, to provide hens with a tree populated environment. Since the brand was launched in 2004 Sainsbury’s has initiated tree planting on nearly 200 farms in order to ensure Woodland Egg laying hens can enjoy the shelter and protection trees provide and allow them to display the characteristics of their jungle fowl ancestors.
Farmers also benefit from the brand by being members of the Federation of Woodland Egg Producers, which aims to forge closer links with Sainsbury’s. All woodland farmers receive a price premium, to compensate for the tree maintenance and additional welfare standards, thanks to a £1 million investment by Sainsbury’s and Noble Foods.
Since its launch the brand has formed a successful partnership with the Woodland Trust, the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity, and to date has raised more than £250,000 for the Trust thanks to 1p donations on every dozen eggs sold. This funding has secured the future of 50,000 trees or nearly 80 acres of new woodland.
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