Thursday, May 31, 2012

ABC 'AM' program talks about stocking densities

There was a good report today on ABC radio's AM program about the Egg Corporation's proposals and the results of a consumer survey by CHOICE.
Have a listen at:

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

ACCC calls for submissions

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is inviting comment on an application from the Australian Egg Corporation Ltd for new egg production standards - including its controversial high density standard for free range egg farms.

The Australian Egg Corp. has made an application to register a certification trade mark, including amendments to  Farm Standards for Egg Producers.

Among the things being considered by the ACCC are that:

the new standard would not be to the detriment of the public (the pubic detriment test); and
would be satisfactory having regard to the principles relating to restrictive trade practices in Part IV of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and the principles relating to unconscionable conduct (Part2-2), unfair practices (Part 3-1), and safety of consumer goods and product related services (Part 3-3) in Schedule 2 (Australian Consumer Law) of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (the trade practices test)

Submissions are required by 20th June 2012 and can be lodged by email to

We urge anyone who is interested to send a submission to the ACCC.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

What does free range mean?

Here's a video about what the terms 'cage free' and 'free range' mean. It was produced in the US, but it is just as relevent here in Australia  - especially with the intensive standards proposed by the Australian Egg Corporation.

Everyone involved in the egg industry (and consumers) need to squeal loudly at the AECL and at politicians to stop this insane proposal from being implemented. Email or write to AECL Board members and the Minister for Agricuture in your State if you think that 20,000 hens per hectare is not appropriate as a stocking density for free range egg production.

Very recent research conducted in Australia by respected researchers does not back the claims made by the Egg Corporation. If you want to see a copy of the research paper, contact the Free Range Farmers Association email freeranger (at)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

RSPCA helps to keep pressure on AECL

The RSPCA has come out with strong opposition to the Egg Corporation's high density stocking plans even though it accepts beak trimming and a lift in stocking density from a maximum of 1500 hens per hectare to 2500.
The full story is in todays' Australian with a picture of a genuine free range farm and some comments by the owner, Vesna Luketic.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pushing the 'free range' barrow

Here's a new marketing tool we have started to use at the Farmers' Markets we attend. It was developed for Human Choice and is designed to raise awareness amongst consumers about the need to question the 'free range' claims made by some producers.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Freeranger Eggs now on Facebook

We have now set up a Facebook page for Freeranger Eggs, as well as Phil's Facebook Page. (I may discontinue that as most of the stuff I put there is about the farm anyway!)
The link is:

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Freeranger Eggs wins Energy Globe Award for Australia

Freeranger Eggs won a sustainability award from the Austrian-based Energy Globe organisation. The presentation was made in Victoria's Parliament House on Friday May 4 by the Austrian Consul General and Trade Commisioner, Mr Guido Stock.
The Speaker of the House, The Hon Ken Smith, arranged for the award to be presented in the Parliament building to Anne and Phil Westwood of Freeranger Eggs, Grantville.

The International Energy Globe Awards (the World  Awards for Sustainability) have been presented annually in Austria since 1999 to recognise projects that 'make careful and economical use of resources and employ alternative energy sources.' 

Freeranger Eggs has been established to demonstrate that a commercial farming business can operate without compromising the environmental and ecological values of the land as well as meeting strict animal welfare standards. The farm was set up as a traditional mixed farm, running sheep, cattle and free range hens.  

It is being used to showcase sustainable farming principles and provides a practical example of land use which can generate profits as well as good environmental outcomes. Workshops and practical farm sessions are held for students, farmers and as an educational tool for others in the community.
What we are doing can be easily replicated and we have developed an e-book which has helped many others to set up similar operations in Victoria, in other Australian States and even overseas.


Friday, May 04, 2012

Choice joins the egg fight

It's great that Choice has joined the fight against the Australian Egg Corporation plans to allow massive stocking densities on 'free range' farms.

It was also a kick in the teeth for AECL when the Scottish Agricultural College denied claims by the Egg Corp that its research backed the proposed stocking density standards.,-says-choice