440 Garden Centres Across Canada Will Be “Chemical Pesticide Free by 2003”

TORONTO, March 12, 2002/CNW

Loblaw Companies Limited (TSE: L), announced today that it will be "Chemical Pesticide Free by 2003" in all of its 440 garden centres across Canada.

"In response to overwhelming consumer demand to eliminate the cosmetic use of pesticides in home gardens, Loblaw Companies Limited has decided to discontinue the sale of chemical pesticides in our garden centres, starting with the spring season 2003," Loblaw spokesperson Geoff Wilson said. Loblaw Companies' garden centres have carried a number of organic based gardening products for many years. Last year, we approached our suppliers to develop more organic based gardening products to replace their chemical pesticides. By the spring of 2003, we will have organic alternatives for virtually all of the chemical pesticides that we currently carry. Organic alternatives, coupled with a strong educational component will ensure the consumer that they can eliminate the cosmetic use of chemical pesticides and still have a beautiful lawn and garden.

For this current season, we will offer an increased number of organic based pesticides and gardening alternatives while transitioning out of chemical pesticides. At our garden centres, we will provide educational handouts and information to consumers on how they can reduce their dependency on chemical pesticides.

This announcement coincides with the opening of the annual Canada Blooms Flower and Garden Show of which Loblaw Companies is the presenting sponsor. We will use this venue to launch our commitment to "Chemical Pesticide Free by 2003" and to further educate gardeners on how they can enjoy a chemical pesticide-free garden.

For further information: Geoffrey H. Wilson, Vice President, Industry and Investor Relations (416) 922-2500 ext. 5206.

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