Responsible & ethical sourcing

At Countdown, we believe in earning our customers’ trust by acting responsibly and doing the right thing for our people, our customers, our communities, and our environment. We expect the same standards from our suppliers, which is why we have a Responsible Sourcing Policy and a list of Responsible Sourcing Standards in place. These are supported by our Responsible Sourcing Guidelines.

Countdown: The path to cage-free

Countdown have announced it is targeting to be 100% cage-free in retail eggs by the end of 2024 in the North Island and by the end of 2025 across the rest of New Zealand.

Find out more

Paper and timber

All of Countdown’s own brand tissue, toilet paper and kitchen towel products are sourced from independently certified, sustainable sources.

All of the paper used in the production of the weekly Countdown mailer comes from certified sustainable sources, either through the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certifications (PEFC).


Countdown is officially microbead free. We were the first to phase out the use of plastic micro-beads in all of our own brand skin care and body wash products by the end of 2015, and from October 2017 we no longer stock any products containing plastic micro-beads on our shelves.

Animal welfare

Countdown’s own brand products are produced to a high standard of animal welfare. We do not use animal testing in own brand products. Click here to find out more.


The vast majority of our bananas are sourced directly from our grower partners in Ecuador and Mexico, depending on supply we will occasionally source a small portion of Ecuadorian bananas which are purchased on the New Zealand wholesale market. As part of our Woolworths Quality Assurance Programme (WQA) we’re committed to sourcing quality, ethical foods from both here and offshore.  Our banana growers and wholesalers have been audited and comply with our strict standards.

GM food

Woolworths own brand products do not use genetically modified (GM) ingredients. Our requirements on GM ingredients are articulated to our own brand suppliers in our Brand Guidelines and Woolworths Quality Assurance (WQA) Standard.

Palm oil

Woolworths Limited is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), and all Woolworths and Countdown own brand products only use RSPO certified sustainable palm oil.

Sustainable product certification

At Countdown, as part of our emphasis on responsible and ethical sourcing we work with organisations such as Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand, and the SPCA, to provide accreditation on various products for our customers. Click here to find out more.