Saturday, December 13, 2014

Shonky egg farms on the run

It's way past time for  big businesses involved in the Australian egg industry to wake up and stop their deceptive practices designed to bolster profits by labelling eggs from their intensive 'farms' as free range - and charging a premium.
The industry has known for years that this has been going on but politicians and bureacrats have refused to take action - sticking to supporting their mates and allowing industry 'self-regulation'.
Now that is suddenly coming to a halt with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission taking on the big operators in the Federal Court.
Yet another egg farm is going to have to defend action in the Federal Court over claims by the ACCC that it has committed serious breaches of Consumer Law. The ACCC says Darling Downs Fresh Eggs, which is based in Queensland, labelled their products as “free range” between 31 December 2013 and 6 October 2014 when the hens had in fact never had access to the outdoors.Darling Downs Fresh Eggs is just the latest in a string of egg producers to face court action for misleading claims. Many more are expected to be put through the wringer.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims said  consumers deserved to know if what they are buying is in fact free range.
“The ACCC considers ‘free range’ eggs to mean that the laying hens can and do go outside and move around freely on an open range on most days,”
He said.“The ACCC considers that the alleged misrepresentations in this case are particularly serious, because it is the ACCC’s case that the Darling Downs Fresh Eggs hens were never given outdoor access.”

Now is an appropriate time for heads to role at the Australian Egg Corporation which has encouraged the long term deception of consumers. It claims to act for the whole of Australia's egg industry - but in reality it works against the interests of free range producers even though they provide funding to AECL through levy payments on every hen.

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