Thursday, November 25, 2010

AECL comments an 'insult' to egg farmers

The Burnie Advocate in Tasmania published this article yesterday:

NATIONAL egg associations had a fiery exchange recently.

Free Range Egg and Poultry Association of Australia president Phil Westwood said comments made by the Australian Egg Corporation were an insult to operators.

"Recent comments in UK publications by the Egg Corp’s managing director, James Kellaway, that an increase in stocking densities from 1500 to at least 10,000 hens per hectare was essential for free-range farms to be commercial’ is an insult to the operators of existing commercial farms who meet all current standards" Mr Westwood said.

"AECL’s position is hardly credible, as free range egg farms have been operating comfortably in Australia for many years, meeting a maximum stocking density of 1500 hens per hectare.

"It seems that AECL wants the commercial imperative to override consumer choice, farm sustainability and animal welfare requirements." However, Australian Egg Corporation managing director James Kellaway said the statement was "out of context".

"Some egg producers have said to be commercial they need to run that number," he said.

"Some egg producers said they are very productive at 1500." Mr Kellaway said other egg producers said they were not commercially productive at this number.

He said that in the statements made he had been conveying what some egg producers told him.

Sunnyside free-range chicken farmer Ross Hingston said when it came to producing eggs, bigger wasn’t necessarily better.

"The more (hens) you have, the more trouble you have as far as pasture goes," he said.

"I sell a fair bit of feed, and don’t rely entirely on eggs.

"If you relied entirely on eggs you might need to expand." At last count Mr Hingston had 600 laying birds, and supplies eggs to about a dozen shops around the Devonport and Latrobe area.

He was told at the last audit he had room for expansion, but he has no plans to expand just yet.

Mr Hingston said expanding meant employing people and he is currently a one man operation.
I leave it to your imagination to figure out why some operators are telling Mr Kellaway that they are not commercially viable at a stocking density of 1500 birds per hectare. I wonder what the reason could possibly be? Wouldn't be greed would it? No surely not, after all we are talking about ethical business people aren't we? 
Oh dear, there goes the phone again!!!!

1 comment:

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