McFamily's BLOG

Recent TopicsUpdated
PR granted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!25 Mar 2010
One year in!18 Jan 2010
English language requirement21 Jul 2009
Permanent residence01 Jul 2009
Nomadic merchants 22 Jun 2009
Driver's Licence19 Jun 2009
A quick hello!18 Jun 2009
Immigration Intake Cut16 Mar 2009
Medical treatment11 Mar 2009
Rain - lots of it!01 Mar 2009
Bad news from South Africa01 Mar 2009
Seafreight delivered26 Feb 2009
Babies25 Feb 2009
Housepicking23 Feb 2009
Crazy Cat Laws23 Feb 2009
A 'funeral' outback style19 Feb 2009
Homebased business in Oz17 Feb 2009
Organic & free range products13 Feb 2009
Vaccinations11 Feb 2009
One month in11 Feb 2009
Aircon and electricity09 Feb 2009
A nation in shock and mourning09 Feb 2009
The movers 31 Jan 2009
Australia Day27 Jan 2009
Cyclone!26 Jan 2009
My First South African25 Jan 2009
Heat25 Jan 2009
4x423 Jan 2009
New goal & mobile phone23 Jan 2009
FIFO22 Jan 2009
The gardeners22 Jan 2009
My email address21 Jan 2009
Angels of Mercy21 Jan 2009
We are in!21 Jan 2009
Temporary Accommodation06 Jan 2009
Moving abroad and the taxman06 Jan 2009
One week to go!03 Jan 2009
Preparing for the outback02 Jan 2009
Countdown01 Jan 2009
Emigration ain't for sissies24 Dec 2008
The indigenous issue18 Dec 2008
Excitement and panic14 Dec 2008
Unabridged birth certificates14 Dec 2008
Sorting out stuff08 Dec 2008
Bookings06 Dec 2008
Visa Application06 Dec 2008
Preparing to depart02 Dec 2008
South African bank's advice28 Nov 2008
Bitter-sweet25 Nov 2008
Being South African ...25 Nov 2008
Losing my Religion22 Nov 2008
Ouch21 Nov 2008
Emigration Wave20 Nov 2008
Taking a container or not18 Nov 2008
So much stuff!15 Nov 2008
Health Examinations12 Nov 2008
Crikey ... another medical!11 Nov 2008
Australian Bureau of Stats07 Nov 2008
The relocation team04 Nov 2008
Job offer30 Oct 2008
The LSD20 Oct 2008
Prams and baby car seats13 Oct 2008
Infant formula & pearls11 Oct 2008
Infant formula10 Oct 2008
Sabona! Site for S. Africans!10 Oct 2008
Skills assessment08 Oct 2008
Homework06 Oct 2008
The beginning of our quest04 Oct 2008
Organic & free range products
13 Feb 2009
Would you believe it ... they have organic baby formula here! Bellamy's is the brand and it is made in Australia. Only hitch is that the reason I noticed it was because it was on special. I bought a can of the toddler milk and baby likes it. I went back for more only to discover all the toddler milk had been sold out. With only one grocery shop in town you have to wait quite a while before new stock of certain sold out items arrive.
1 comments  Show / Hide
22 Jan 2009
I have to report back on this topic ... .

Although I was mildly dismayed by the look of my new Aussie style Woolies, I have to say I am impressed by their merchandise. Their fresh produce is great - super fresh, wide variety and a lot of it seems to be of WA origin. And yes, they do have a small selection of organic produce and products. Much to my delight, I discovered that Heinz makes organic baby food too - like Purity in glass jars. The textures seem to vary from mashed to chunky and baby gobbles it down with enthusiasm. I always do a little taste test for her and some of them are quite tasty (for baby food, that is). I buy fresh fruit in small quantities, chop some of it up in tiny pieces and she eats that with great enthusiasm too. She switched with no problem at all from Nan 3 to Nestle Toddler Gold.
1 comments  Show / Hide
19 Nov 2008
Thanks for the good news on lettuce and tomatoes deRoberto!

I'm most impressed by Woolies AU ... my query was split up and sent to the different divisions for answers. The chicken guy was the fastest.

The beef and lamb guy has coming in with an answer too. See below:

'Thankyou for your enquiry concerning organic and free range meat. We are currently attempting to source certified organic beef in an effort to supply some of our Woolworths stores with organic meat in WA. It is proving a real challenge as certified organic cattle are difficult to source throughout the entire year and we are desperately trying to secure supply over 52 weeks of the year and not just seasonal periods.

Although Woolworths beef and lamb is not classified as free range, all cattle and lambs are predominately sourced direct from either grass paddocks or from feedlots that are only used for a short period to improve the diet of the animals when grazing paddocks become short of feed. Although feedlots are smaller than conventional grazing paddocks, they still give the animals plenty of room to roam, rest and access to permanent water supply.

Woolworths already have a range of free range poultry in all stores and I'm sure you will find a good range of free range products in the store.

Once we can secure a more consistent supply of organic beef and lamb it is our intention to supply stores with more organic products. I ask for your patients and will hopefully be able to supply in the not to distant future.'

Looking good ... they are really trying!

I forgot to ask them about dairy products so I have tacked on that question. I don't know about you, but I would really prefer to consume dairy products that are free of growth hormones. Here in South Africa, Clover and Woolworths sell dairy products that are free of the rSBT growth hormone.

Going organic (or partially) is not about eliminating these nasty things from your diet but reducing your consumption of these undesirables.

18 Nov 2008
And the good news is in! Well partially ...

My future Woolies stocks free range chicken. They seemed to think that my query only pertained to chicken so I wrote back to remind them about the fruit and veg.
1 comments  Show / Hide
13 Nov 2008
First, I have to say, there are some marvellous people on this site. I just loved deRoberto's reply to my 11 November posting.

An interim answer came in from Woolies AU a few minutes ago and it reads as follows:

'Thank you for contacting the Woolworths Website where your feedback is

Please be assured that your enquiry has been acknowledged and referred
to the respective Business Teams for their follow up and response to

Your feedback is greatly appreciated.'
11 Nov 2008
First of all, a big thanks to all of those who have so kindly come out in support of me (both in the comments section and in private) after the uncalled for attack on me in my blog under this topic.

Secondly, thanks for the useful tips and advice that have been given which will most definitely be added into the pot to help make our transition on the other side so much easier.

To Themints - I will most certainly check out Natures Organics. Sounds just what I'm looking for. I love their clever slogan 'Products that don't cost the earth'. I see they have products to meet all ones needs from personal to household - brilliant!

Regarding Woolworths - you think like me! Since the advent of the Internet I do most of my fact finding here and it is particularly useful for researching overseas. I had a bit of a cruise around the Woolies site on Sunday, couldn't find anything so I popped them a question particularly about availability at my future branch and the possibility of placing special orders. I haven't received a reply yet but it isn't exactly urgent. I believe in being an active consumer and making my needs known. If enough people do the same, things will change. I have, however, received a note in private to the effect that Woolies AU isn't big on organic. Let's see what they say!

By the way, I think your blog is fantastic. It could be converted into a book and be published!
1 comments  Show / Hide
11 Nov 2008
Wow ... came home from our medicals to be greeted by a mess on my blog!

Selwyn - you are in the dogbox.
AudreyS - your comment has been noted. Thank you.
Kayandandy - thank you for your kind support.

I am rather perplexed as I have been accused of having a chip on my shoulder (huh???) and that my postings may be considered offensive (huh???). It would seem that some people read way too much between the lines. I am mainly just reporting facts and these are somehow getting dreadfully misinterpretted by some people.

We all have different lives and backgrounds and have come together at this point of emigration. We essentially are all faced with the same challenge - how do we replace our old lifestyles with something comparable on that side, what do we do with all of our stuff, how are we going to cope in our new environments, etc. And most of us South Africans are all going through these difficult processes for one reason: we want a safer life for ourselves and our families. There is no room for nastiness in this equation. If you have nothing nice to say, don't say it.

Maybe some people think I am a snob or something because I am interested in organic produce? Here's the deal on organics and free range: I am interested in the health of my family, especially my baby daughter. A couple of months ago there was quite a bit on TV and in the press about how the pesticides used in agriculture in South Africa were making people in the farming areas in Grobersdal very sick, including making little boys grow breasts. Just this weekend I read an article about the growth hormones in dairy and meat products could be causing premature puberty in little girls. So you see, being interested in the health of my family and liking Woolworths South Africa (they stock organic products as does Pick 'n Pay) has nothing to do with being a snob or having a chip on my shoulder. Maybe I'll be growing my own organic veggies in tunnels one day soon!

I don't understand all the references to 4x4s. Never had one and never said I wanted one. My discussion on cars was of a practical nature (fuel availability and servicing). So what??? I find this information interesting, that's all. I'll consider myself lucky if I manage to get myself a little secondhand airconditioned eggbox to trundle around town in Oz. I also have no problem whatsoever with using public transport - just could be very uncomfortable with a baby in 40 degree heat and a bag of shopping. Wonder if small towns even have bus services ... (please don't interpret that as some way insulting small towns - just a question I don't expect to have answered right now).

I didn't mean anything nasty by saying our future Woolies resembles a Spar either. Once again, just reporting a fact. Nothing wrong with Spar. I go to them here. It is just a point of interest in the life of someone who will have to go hunting and gathering for her family in a town with only one small grocery shop.

Was someone offended by my sunscreen posting? Just fact finding once again. A friend of mine has just told me about a SPF 120 from Japan and has referred me to a forum on the topic. I'm just curious! I'm not knocking Australia for only having SPF 30. I want to find out why and understand more - just an enquiring mind and not a snob with a chip on my shoulder! For the record, I believe in staying out of the sun as much as possible so if I keep dodging sunbeams, wear my sensible longsleeves and a hat (not a fashion statement - just a practical thing), I won't need anything stronger than SFP 30.

And the driver's licence ... read my previous posting carefully. I know that new permanent residents from South Africa (which we will not be initially) have to redo the test.

Thank you Kayandandy for pointing out that this move and our adaptation is not going to be easy. I haven't been stressing that side of it as the challenges are obvious and I'm being positive by focusing on the adventure of it rather than the difficult side. We are not moving to a lovely seaside suburb but to one of the most desolate and inhospitable places on the planet. Our visa is based on the fact that they could get no one else in Australia to do the job - that should make you think. Sure, they are laying out the red carpet for us but that is our good fortune and I am grateful for their most kind hospitality. Furthermore, I'm very excited about the move and am keen to take on all the challenges head on. I am looking forward to getting involved in as many of the numerous community activities that I can practically manage and not only taking as much as I can out of this unique opportunity that has come across my path but giving back as well.

3 comments  Show / Hide
09 Nov 2008
Anybody got an idea of what the availability of organic and free range products is like in Australia, especially from Woolworths? I'll also have to find Australian ecofriendly cleaning gel and detergent.

I'm going to miss the South African version of Woolworths but hope to be surprised by my local Aussie Woolworths. Hubby says our future Woolworths resembles a South African Spar shop.

5 comments  Show / Hide