Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Egg labelling forum

The decision by NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson to arrange a forum to discuss problems with egg labelling, is a great indication that the Government believes that consumers are being conned

At a forum being held in Sydney today, the NSW Food Authority is hearing from eggs producers, Australian Egg Corporation staff, and retailers. One of the topics on the agenda is ‘Truth in Labelling’.

The Australian Egg Corporation has acknowledged that currently some eggs producers who label their eggs as ‘free range’ are intensive farms with outdoor stocking densities of 40,000 hens per hectare.

Its answer to that problem is to introduce a new standard which allows a stocking density of up to 20,000 birds per hectare when the current level accepted by free range farmers across Australia is a maximum stocking rate of 1500 birds per hectare.

Clearly, the Australian Egg Corporation has turned its back on free range farmers despite its claims to represent all industry sectors.

The Free Range Egg & Poultry Association of Australia, will again urge the Federal Minister for Agriculture, Joe Ludwig, to amend funding arrangements for the Egg Corporation to allow levy monies paid by free range producers to be used for the promotion of free range eggs. Currently all monies raised by levies on replacement chicks is handed over to the Australian Egg Corporation.

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