Waitrose Foundation

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Improving LIVELIHOODS since 2005

Improving LIVELIHOODS since 2005

The Waitrose Foundation is our way of giving back. As a supermarket, we rely on farms and their communities across the world to grow, pick and pack our fresh food and flowers throughout the year. 

Through the Foundation we work with suppliers to fund local projects that help improve the lives of the workers who grow, pick and pack our produce. Every time you buy a Foundation product, 2% or equivalent of the sale is invested back into the community it came from. 

Worker committees decide how best to spend the money, with funds going towards everything from health clinics and libraries to emergency food parcels, hygiene kits and hardship funds. 

The Foundation started in South Africa in 2005, and since then it has supported more than 900 projects there

The Foundation was created in 2005 and so far has invested over £19 million into more than 1,700 community projects in nine countries.

In 2022 alone, we raised £2.2m for the Foundation, delivered 181 projects and sold over 200 product lines with the Foundation label on.

Award-winning supermarket for animal welfare
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Foundation SUCCESS stories

  • Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, we have invested £530,000 to support all Foundation communities with COVID-19 relief projects, which included the provision of sanitation kits, food parcels, Personal Protective Equipment, economic support and vaccines.

  • A micro-savings and loan programme funded by the Foundation has disbursed more than £1.16m worth of loans to over 58,000 workers in East Africa, providing access to affordable finance. 

  • At Rooipad Boedery, a citrus farm in South Africa, a needlework project means that workers can earn additional money when the fruit is out of season. Participants create everything from colourful cushion covers to beanie hats, and take orders from local hotels for their upholstery.
  • In Ghana, the School Farm Project funded by the Foundation promotes careers in agriculture among young people. Since the programme started in 2015, more than 15,000 students have taken part.

  • All our whole pineapples come from Costa Rica where the Foundation works to invest in educational and economic empowerment projects for the workers and their families.

  • In The Gambia, we have supported our vegetable farms with upgraded irrigation systems, farming inputs and technical support to improve soil health and crop yield.

  • At Eldama Ravine in Kenya, the Foundation funded the building and equipping of a maternity unit, as the nearest was many hours away. Thousands of babies have since been safely delivered there.

Where FOUNDATION money goes

Where FOUNDATION money goes

When you buy something that has the Waitrose Foundation label, 2% or equivalent* of the retail sale price goes to our implementation partners. They invest this money in community development projects that support the workers who grow, pick and pack our produce.

In 2022/23 the Foundation investment** that was accrued for the Foundation and given to implementation partners was split as follows:

Waitrose Foundation
South Africa:
£1,240,605 (53%)

£824,520 (35.3%)

Blue Skies
£140,000 (6%)

£102,413 (4.4%)

£31,670 (1.4%)

*  Flowers contributions are calculated per stem as opposed to a percentage of the retail sales value. In some cases suppliers' contributions are a mixture of financial investment and in-kind resources.

** ‘Foundation investment’ is the accrued finances from sales in the 2022/23 financial year plus additional Global Strategic Fund payments made to the partner that year. For clarity, accrued finances are not sent to the partner until the end of the financial year, whilst global fund payments are paid throughout the year.

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