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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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How ethical is Willow?

Willow is a brand of spread owned by Saputo Inc. which has a below-benchmark score on The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Butter, Margarine & Spreads Ratings Table. Although Willow has not yet met our ethical benchmark, we hope to see the brand make progress in the future.

We would have extra confidence in Willow if it submitted itself to apply for Ethical Accreditation, whereby The Good Shopping Guide would make further detailed assessment and recommendations for ethical improvement.

Find out more about the ethical issues facing the Butter, Margarine & Spreads sector.

What does Willow do?

Willow is an alternative to butter, designed to be used in the same ways and available in a spreadable version.

In which areas does Willow perform poorly?

Willow was marked down under our criteria for Organic due to a lack of certification. It also received a bottom rating for GMOs as the brand’s parent company, Saputo Inc, has a statement confirming its use of GM ingredients. Find out more about how we rate by exploring our ethical criteria.

Past Criticisms of Willow’s record

In 2023 Willow’s parent company, Saputo Inc, scored Ethical Consumer’s worst rating for its use of uncertified palm oil. In 2022 Saputo-owned Dairy Crest received an enormous fine for its unacceptable environmental performance, and in 2021 Saputo was further criticised for its links to deforestation in Brazil caused by soya farming.

In which areas does Willow score well for its ethics?

We found no public record criticisms of Willow relating to Nuclear, Fossil Fuels, Animal Welfare, Political Donations or Armaments, so it scores well for these criteria.

Saputo’s ‘Environment’ page does contain numerous targets so Willow is awarded a good score for its Environmental Report.

How can Willow improve its ethical rating?

The below-benchmark score that Willow is awarded with on The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Butter, Margarine & Spreads Ratings Table is the result of an evaluation of multiple ethical criteria.

To reach our minimum ethical benchmark and qualify for Ethical Accreditation, Willow has some issues to resolve, including its use of GMO ingredients and lack of Organic certification. If it applies for Ethical Accreditation, The Good Shopping Guide will be able to give Willow some guidance to improve on these areas.

Were you aware that your brand could benefit from Ethical Accreditation? Brands accredited by The Good Shopping Guide can display our ethical mark, showcasing to consumers that it is an ethical and sustainable brand.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to attain Ethical Accreditation, please contact us or complete a Free Initial Assessment form.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Genetic Modification


  • Organic


  • Nuclear Power


  • Fossil Fuels



  • Animal Welfare


  • Vegetarian/Vegan Verified



  • Armaments


  • Political Donations



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Public Record Criticisms


  • Public Record Criticisms+


= GSG Top Rating = GSG Middle Rating = GSG Bottom Rating