But AECL hasn't given up totally. It has started the process of registering a standard trademark for its Egg Standards Australia proposal which would allow it to side-step the ACCC as this type of trademark does not need ACCC approval.
The AECL may now wait to see how the new Coles supermarket 'free range' standard of 10,000 hens per hectare (due to be launched in January) is accepted. That may become the industry benchmark unless there is a consumer backlash.
Queensland has been the only state to enforce standards for free range hens with a maximum stocking rate of 1,500 hens per hectare, but it is believed that the Queensland Government has bowed to pressure from the egg industry lobby and is about to change the regulation to allow a stocking density of 10,000 per hectare – in line with the Coles standard.