Monday, October 11, 2010

'Free range' complaint lodged with Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

After discussions with a number of free range and cage egg producers, today I lodged a complaint against the Australian Egg Corporation Ltd with the ACCC over its endorsement of 'free range' egg production standards.

Research which is publicly available on the website of the Poultry CRC (which is funded from a levy paid by all egg producers) shows that only 9% of 'free range' egg laying hens actually use an outdoor range area. The details can be seen at

In our view, this clearly demonstrates that consumers are being mislead and deceived by a system that is endorsed and approved by the Australian Egg Corporation.

And the industry recognises that things will become even more deceptive if the AECL goes ahead with its draft 'free range' standard. The Egg Corporation tries to pretend that's it's only a small number of 'troublemakers' who are voicing concerns - but the reality is that even big cage farmers recognise that the AECL's proposed definition for 'free range' is a crock which will harm the reputation of the whole industry.

The AECL seems hell-bent on sending the message to consumers that 'You can't trust labels on eggs'

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