Shoprite Checkers, Woolworths and Pick n Pay, have expressed concern over speculation that a water crisis is looming in South Africa. The three major retailers say they have put in place rigorous measures to ensure their products are safe for consumption and are free of any potential contamination from polluted water supplies.
A Shoprite spokesman said yesterday that suppliers to the group’s fresh produce procurement division, Freshmark, had to comply with a standard of certification regarding farming practices, which included regulations on irrigation water.
The spokesman said the requirements stipulated that untreated sewerage water should not be used and that all suppliers were required to test their water regularly and have the results available for an auditor’s inspection.
“The requirements around the safety of water supplies are critical requirements to be met by Freshmark’s suppliers in order to receive or retain certification. Suppliers must comply with local regulations and standards … on drinking water,” he said.
If suppliers failed to comply, they would lose their certification and would be barred from supplying Freshmark.