The Woolworths Group, together with its customers, have raised more than $7 million to date for Rural Aid’s Buy a Bale appeal in support of farmers impacted by the drought.
The total includes Woolworths’ initial $1.5m, customer donations made at stores across the group – supermarkets, metro, BWS, Dan Murphy’s and Big W, as well as profits from sales in the fresh departments at Woolworths Supermarkets on the 11th of August.
The money is already being used by Rural Aid to deliver more livestock feed, cover essential household expenses and provide additional counselling support services to farmers in need in rural areas.
Rural Aid CEO Charles Alder said it had been incredible to see the whole nation rally together to help support the strong and resilient Australian farming community during this tough period.
“The funds raised by Woolworths are already starting to help farmers who have reached out to us in urgent need of feed for their livestock, as well help with household expenses,” he said.
“Additionally we’ve been able to increase vital counselling services available for farming families in regional communities, with counsellors coming on board in Broken Hill and Lighting Ridge,” said Alder.
Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci said the group had been overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity from customers and store teams in support of the Australian farming community.
“Our store teams, particularly in regional and rural areas, have continued to go above and beyond to support fundraising efforts because they know it makes a real difference for those impacted in their local community,” he said.
“We are proud to have collectively raised and donated more than $7m for Rural Aid’s Buy a Bale appeal, and we continue to look at ways to support their work above and beyond fundraising,” said Banducci.
Woolworths is also supporting the organisation with resourcing in the areas of logistics and planning.
Alder said moving livestock feed was a huge logistical challenge, but the group were working really hard with industry partners to support this.
“We are grateful to the additional support the Woolworths Group supply chain has been providing to ensure more hay and much needed supplies are getting to our farmers in need, as quickly as possible,” said Alder.