Foodstuffs (NZ) Ltd is a New Zealand grocery company owned by retailers’ cooperatives Foodstuffs North Island Limited and Foodstuffs South Island Limited. Together, the two cooperatives collectively control an estimated 53% of the New Zealand grocery market. The group owns retail franchises New World, Pak’nSave, Four Square, LiquorLand, Gilmours, and in-store private label Pams. Foodstuffs operates over 400 retail stores as of 2020, and serves an estimated 3.6 million customers each week.


“We’ve been serving New Zealanders since 1922, when a young lad named J. Heaton Barker called together members of the Auckland Masters Grocers Association to discuss plans for the formation of a Co-operative (Co-op) buying group.”


Note – On 04 June 2024, Foodstuffs members voted strongly in favour of a merger. It means the merger can go ahead, subject to Commerce Commission and High Court approval.

Woke Rating

We rate Foodstuffs as woke. Foodstuffs North Island Limited is more woke than Foodstuffs South Island Limited (note – this rating may not reflect the activities of each branch store).

Woke Summary

  • Virtue Signalling – some virtue signalling found.
  • Gender Ideology & LGBTQ – Foodstuffs is Rainbow Tick Certified, has Rainbow policies, and is involved with LGBTQI+ events and initiatives such as Pride Month. Foodstuffs is participant in the annual Rainbow Excellence Awards. Foodstuffs supports Gender Transitioning.
  • Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI) – has DEI and ESG policies.
  • Climate Change – Supports the Paris Agreement and UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Has emissions reduction targets.

Woke Policies

Wokeness and virtue signalling distracts a company from its core business, which is to make a profit for shareholders while delivering excellent, affordable products and services to its customers. Businesses should not be distracted from this core purpose, otherwise there will be unnecessary costs which are ultimately passed onto consumers. Woke ideologies are typically unfriendly towards the traditional family unit.

Below are some woke policies and initiatives from Foodstuffs.

Virtue Signalling


Gender Ideology & LGBTQ+

Foodstuffs is Rainbow Tick Certified, has Rainbow policies, and is heavily involved with many LGBTQI+ events and initiatives such as Pride Month. Foodstuffs supports Gender Transitioning.

“We are delighted to have gained Rainbow Tick Accreditation earlier this year. The Rainbow Tick is a continuous improvement programme designed to help organisations ensure they are a safe and welcoming workplace for employees who are members of the LGBTTQIA+ community.” Source: Foodstuffs Social Responsibility Report 2022

“Foodstuffs North Island is bursting with pride that it has gained Rainbow Tick accreditation. The tick endorsement is a huge step on the co-op’s Diversity and Inclusion journey and the first major milestone of its self-proclaimed Rainbow Tribe.”

Foodstuffs supports Gender Transitioning
“Foodstuffs now has a Gender Affirmation Support Policy for our Support Centre and Supply Chain teams which seeks to wrap tangible support around employees who may be transitioning. The policy includes four weeks leave, two weeks unpaid leave, a one-off voucher towards cosmetic expenses, up to $1000 for legal expenses and unlimited counselling and support. The policy and supporting guidelines are also available for our stores to use.” Source:

Foodstuffs North Island is actively involved in the Rainbow Excellence Awards … receiving an “innovation” award in 2023.

Foodstuffs North Island has its own “Rainbow Tribe” as well as a Rainbow Pride Logo. 


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

Foodstuffs has DEI and ESG policies, and applies equity targets. 

“We’re supporting New Zealand’s wider efforts to meet international obligations, like the Paris Agreement, and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

“As part of our diversity and inclusion commitment, and to ensure that we authentically reflect the communities we serve, we are committed to minimising the gender pay gap within both cooperatives. Our target is to have pay gaps that are better than New Zealand’s national average pay gap, as measured by the Public Services Commission.”

“At Foodstuffs North Island, we will continue to focus on growing our ecosystem of employee networks in FY23. These networks are groups of passionate Foodies who come together to identify and develop opportunities to build a more inclusive cooperative.”

“Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DI&B) is an integral part of our Wellbeing framework and supports our desire that every employee, regardless of age, gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation or ability, or any other difference, feels safe, supported and able to be themselves at work.”

Foodstuffs Social Responsibility Report 2022

Climate Change

Foodstuffs supports the Paris Agreement, and has emissions reduction targets. Committed to UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Foodstuffs has ESG policies.


Climate Leaders Coalition
“In 2019, both Foodstuffs South Island and Foodstuffs North Island joined the Climate Leaders Coalition. The coalition is a group of more than 100 New Zealand companies working together to tackle climate change and help New Zealand become a low emissions economy.

As part of this coalition, we’re committed to:

  • measuring and reporting our carbon emissions each year, and
  • setting carbon reduction targets.

Positive Policies & Activities

Parental Leave

“FY23 was the first full year of our enhanced Foodies Parental Leave Policy for Support Centre and Supply Chain teams being in place. Launched 1 January 2022, the policy provides 12 weeks paid leave for eligible employees, regardless of whether they are the primary or secondary carer for their baby during its first year. Over FY23, we had 104 people take parental leave, 77 of whom benefited from the additional 12 weeks paid parental leave. 42% of this group were secondary carers, who under legislation are entitled to two weeks unpaid leave, so this is a very meaningful benefit for all our new parents. Our Parental Leave Policy also includes other enhancements around health insurance, annual leave, superannuation, return to work vouchers and flexible working.”

Helping Local Communities

Foodstuffs stores contribute to communities throughout New Zealand and run local community initiatives.

Food rescue

Foodstuffs stores throughout New Zealand set aside safe, edible food that they couldn’t otherwise sell and give it to organisations working to redistribute it to Kiwis in need. Nationally, the equivalent of 6.1 million meals are provided annually to those in need.

Note – This page was updated as of 20th May 2024. Please contact us if you’ve discovered other relevant information about Foodstuffs or other businesses pushing woke agendas. You should also contact us if you discover some positively woke-free businesses.

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