2nd November 2012 - SYDNEY
Two years of representations and hard lobbying by Humane
Society International (HSI) on behalf of Humane Choice True Free Range
producers has culminated in a damning report from the ACCC opposing the
intensification of free range egg production.
The theme throughout the comprehensive ACCC report is that
the Australian Egg Corporation’s proposal to increase stocking rates for layer
hens to 20,000 birds per hectare will not meet consumer expectations for free
“Although this has been obvious to the consumer for some
time, industry has been relentless in their quest to highjack the term free
range because big business had seen the potential to increase their profits
substantially by labelling their eggs as free range,” said Lee McCosker, Chief
Operating Officer for Humane Choice.
“This is a resounding victory for consumers, farmers and of course the
Of 1,700 submissions received by the ACCC on the proposed
Egg Corporation Standards, a staggering 1,693 were in opposition. There were only 7 submissions in Egg
Corporations favour and they were probably by the producers most likely to
benefit from the deception.
“The consumer has sent a very loud message to anyone
labelling their eggs free range as well as to the supermarket chains that are
promoting stocking rates up to 20,000 birds for their in-house branded free
range eggs. Quite simply, label any egg produced in a system with stocking
rates higher than 1500 birds per hectare and you are misleading your
customers,” said McCosker.
The report from the ACCC is a welcome relief for true free
range producers who were in danger of being put out of business. NSW, TAS, WA and SA all have
Bills before parliament capping free range stocking rates at 1500 birds per
hectare and the ACCC findings would hopefully push these Bills over the line.
We would like to thank the thousands of consumers who stood
with us on this important issue to protect the integrity of free range farming
into the future. “The people have spoken.
It would be a huge mistake by government not to listen,” says McCosker.
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