Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Australia's egg industry tries a cover-up

Australia's egg industry is desperately trying to cover its tracks after major producers have been sprung conning consumers.

Bede Burke, Egg Committee Chairman of NSW Farmers claimed in an interview on ABC radio that there is confusion surrounding free-range and caged eggs, which is making future investment for the industry difficult.

He said it was a shock to see avian influenza outbreaks in the new style of free-range farms built in Australia. He said the magnitude of the outbreak was foreign to DPI staff, although the virus was eventually contained to two farms and eradicated. He acknowledged that the recent ACCC court case against Pirovic over free-range eggs was a defining case. But he tried to argue that farmers have invested in free-range production according to the existing code, which is now having a different interpretation laid over top of it. What a load of cobblers – it's purely greed. The existing code precludes intensive free range egg production but the shonky operators thought they had found a loophole! Bede Burke's attempts to defend shonky practices have not been supported by the Egg Corporation. Managing Director James Kellaway has told egg farmers " The judgement has some very important ramifications for free range egg farming, as it is now law. The judgement defines, to a degree, what free range egg farming is. As a result, I urge you all to read the judgement carefully and take any necessary steps to ensure you comply.

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