Friday, August 22, 2014

Aussie egg farms to pay for bird flu clean up costs


All egg farmers in Australia will be forced to pay for the costs of the avian influenza outbreak in New South Wales even though it was caused by poor on-farm practices and inadequate biosecurity procedures on the individual farms involved.

A new levy of 1.4 cents on every chick purchased by farmers will be charged, on top of existing levies. A business case has been submitted to the Department of Agriculture for an increase in the Emergency Animal Disease Response Levy.  Egg farmers have six weeks to object to the new levy. If you wish to object to this proposal, please do so to AECL at contacts@aecl.org and also to the Department of Agriculture in Canberra at levies.management@agriculture.gov.au.

The levy increase proposal is to repay an amount of $395,000 to the Australian Government for the egg industry’s share of costs incurred for the responses associated with an outbreak of LPAI among ducks during January 2012; an outbreak of HPAI among laying hens in November 2012; and another outbreak of HPAI among laying hens in October 2013. Many farmers are asking "why should we be penalised for the greed of a couple of operators and their decisions to ignore normal business practices and biosecurity procedures."
To compare the way farmers are treated, in the European Union, 50% of costs associated with the eradication or control of Avian Influenza are covered by the Government.  I'm not suggesting that should be the case here but I don't understand why Aussie farmers who have met all biosecurity and food safety processes should be penalised to the same extent as the clowns in the industry who have been chasing quick dollars.  Where is the equity?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Workshop on Starting a Free Range Egg Farm

Our next workshop on setting up free range egg farm will be held on Wednesday October 15 as part of Fair Food Week.  Details are on our website.
Attendees will get most out of the day if they have read our eBook.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Forum on 'free range' at egg industry meeting in Canberra

A new free range standard and possible new egg labelling requirements in Australia will be discussed at the next egg industry Forum in Canberra in November.

  After a presentation by the NSW Department of Fair Trading to the Forum egg farmers will be able to participate in a consultation session with Department officials about the issues.

The NSW Department of Fair Trading was tasked by the Ministerial Council of Fair Trading/Consumer Affairs to draft a national information standard on free range eggs and  minimum labelling requirements for egg labelling. The draft will be considered by the Ministerial Council next April.
 
The Forum will take place on November19 aand 20  in Canberra and it will be followed by the annual meeting of the Australian Egg Corporation.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

It's not only the world's bees that are dying off - birds are also now threatened by pesticides. The message of 'Silent Spring' is on the way back.

New research has identified the world’s most widely used insecticides as the key factor in the recent reduction in numbers of farmland birds.
The finding represents a significant escalation of the known dangers of the insecticides and follows an assessment in June that warned that pervasive pollution by these nerve agents was now threatening all food production.

Details:
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/09/neonicotinoids-farmland-birds

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bass Coast Business Awards

Bass Coast Shire is running its Business Awards programme again this year. One of the categories is the People's Choice Award - where customers can  nominate any business operating within the Shire.Nominations for People’s Choice close 5.00pm Friday, 8 August 2014.
Customers can nominate Freeranger Eggs on the voting site http://www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/Business/Bass_Coast_Business_Awards/Vote_Now!_Peoples_Choice_Award
Just by nominating a business, customers can win a $250 shopping voucher.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sense at last in Australia (maybe)


With a bit of luck, we hope that Australia has avoided the prospect of 'freedom fighters' wreaking havoc throughout the country.

There has been massive community unrest over decisions made by national politicians - but potentially the most damaging problems have been caused by the ultra right-wing Queensland state government which ignored the normal legal processes everyone thought were part of our civilization.


Now after a stinging election result, the Queensland premier is making noises to curb his vicious approach to people. We expect that Australia's embarrassing Prime Minister will also tone down his attack on the Australian population (as well as his allegations against the Russians and his Foreign Minister's allegations against the Chinese Government.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

UK free range producers back our stand on stocking densities

An article in the  British Free Range Egg Producers Association magazine backs our view that the Australian egg industry needs to encourage more small-scale free range farms rather than the mega farms which are add-ons to existing cage or barn facilities.
Here's a story they ran following comments by Aussie poultry vet Dr Peter Scott confirming that intensive 'free range' is not the way to go.
http://theranger.co.uk/News/Leading-vet-warns-that-Australian-free-range-and-intensive-units-should-be-kept-apart_24058.html

This article should help to reinforce the push for a realistic definition of the term'free range' which hopefully will be established by the Ministers for Consumer Affairs when they next meet.

Once there is a clear definition, there is expected to be a massive increase in interest in establishing free range farms. This sector of the industry has been  depressed by  corporate producers who dominate the market with their deceptive practices in labelling intensively produced eggs as 'free range'.

There is strong demand for our  eBook and our workshops on setting up a free range farm - and once legislation is in place, that demand is likely to become an avalanche.