Friday, September 09, 2011

ACCC acts on 'roaming' chickens

Major meat chicken suppliers in Victoria are facing court for allegedly claiming their chooks roam freely in spacious barns.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has launched Federal Court action against Baiada Poultry and Bartter Enterprises and Turi Foods, which supply chickens to Steggles and La Ionica respectively, and peak industry body the Australian Chicken Meat Federation Inc.

All three are accused of claiming their chickens have been raised in spacious barns where they can roam freely, similar to free-range birds.

If the action is successful, it will send a great message to all those intensive 'free range' egg producers who are making a fortune out of gullible consumers and slack regulations.

The consumer watchdog claims chickens raised in barns cannot enjoy a free range-type lifestyle because there are so many of them.

"Promotional activities that convey an impression of farming practices are powerful representations which influence many consumer purchases and food choices," the ACCC says.

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