Sunday, April 29, 2012

State Governor visits Churchill Island

The Governor of Victoria, Alex Chernov, visited the Churchill Island Farmers' Market yesterday along with Ken Smith, the Parliamentary Speaker (and also our local MP).

I had quite a chat with Mr Chernov about the farm and the way we run things and he congratulated us on winning an international environmental award - the Energy Globe. It will be presented to us in Parliament House next Friday by the Austrian Consul General, Guido Stock.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

What is the stocking density for free range hens?

An article in today's Brisbane Courier Mail puts the Egg Corp's proposals into clear perspective and explodes the arguments used for intensive stocking rates.
The Australian Egg Corp says the current recommendation of 1500 birds per hectare is unsustainable and that, if it is enforced, Australia will soon be forced to import eggs from nations that have animal welfare laws worse than ours.
This is from a corporation that claims chooks that deliver cage eggs are happy and healthy, and that anyone who claims otherwise is alarmist and extremist.
It warns that without greater stock density allowances, egg prices are set to rocket. Who is using scare tactics now?
So how is it that the rules on how chooks are housed and what "free range" means can be so flexible? Because apart from some basic animal welfare laws, there is no federal legislation on safe, sustainable and humane stock densities. The Government opts for self-regulation and recommended codes of practice, in this area at least.
But if the official egg industry service body can't manage labelling honesty, maybe it is time to legislate and give that legislation teeth. Consumers would also get certainty about what they are buying.
Queensland is a trailblazer as the only state with mandated 1500 birds per hectare. But that is only for eggs produced in the Sunshine State. Eggs on our supermarket shelves come from far and wide.
Several Queensland egg companies remain financially successful under the decade-old laws, flying in the face of AEC warnings about soaring prices if the 1500-bird recommendation is retained.
Read it all at:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Free range debate on ABC TV Breakfast

The Free Range Farmers Association had a great session with ABC Breakfast, and the story was run later in the day on TV and radio throughout Australia.

James Kellaway will be on the show on Tuesday morning trying to undo the damage with his usual spin. You have to feel a bit sorry for him, because he knows that what the Egg Corp is doing is unethical and just plain wrong - but he has to do what he is told by his Board which is controlled by the big corporations.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

More on the AECL nonsense

Blast for AECL in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age

There were excellent articles today in the Sydney Sun-Herald and the Mebourne Age about the Australian Egg Corporation's absurd plans for the industry - aimed to deceive consumers.

Have a read at:

and complain to your local Member of Parliament - as well as the Minister for Agriculture in your State and the federal Minister, Senator Joe Ludwig. They really do need to get their fingers out!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Misleading labels deceive consumers

There's an excellent article about ethics, integrity and honesty in today's Weekly Times

Well done Les !

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

SA Minister for Agriculture may be joining the fight

The South Australian Minister for Agriculture, Gail Gago may support the Liberal/Greens Bill in Paliament to limit free range stocking densities to 1500 hens per hectare.
She is quoted in today's Adelaide Advertiser as saying: 20,000 hens per hectare was 'out of touch with public expectations'.

Great news from Minister Gago. Let's hope we can get the NSW Minister, Katrina Hodgkinson, to adopt the same stand.
Read the story at:

This should help to scuttle the absurd stocking density proposal being pushed by the Australian Egg Corporation.

Friday, April 06, 2012

One third of all eggs labelled as 'free range' in Australia are from intensive farms - official industry figures

The Australian Egg Corporation has revealed that consumers are being conned on a massive scale. AECL's Communications Manager, Kai Ianssen has admitted that: '29% of free range egg production in Australia is sourced from farms that currently stock free range hens at densities greater than 2 birds per square metre (20,000 per hectare) and do comply to the Model Code of Practice. The egg industry wishes to address this erroneous situation.'
What an admission. So consumers are paying a premium for eggs which are identical to cheaper eggs from intensive farms alongside them on the supermarket shelves.

 Quite apart from the issue of consumer deception, the nutrient load from 20,000 hens per hectare is unsustainable. There are various estimates, but that figure represents a DSE of up to 800.

That quote from AECL should help the politicians see that the industry is incapable of self-regulation.