AECL Works with ACCC on Certification02 November 2012
AUSTRALIA - The Australian Egg Corporation Ltd (AECL) was today (2 November) notified that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has made an initial assessment rejecting its application for a Certification Trade Mark for its new Quality Assurance (QA) programme.
The ACCC has noted it is yet to consider a number of submissions on this topic from AECL.
“While this decision is only an initial assessment, we are confident that there is overwhelming evidence in favour of the new Standards. We will continue to work with the ACCC to ensure the trade mark certification is achieved for the benefit of consumers, industry and hen welfare,” said AECL Managing Director, Mr James Kellaway.
“The new QA programme provides a consistent framework through which egg producers can ensure they are meeting high quality farm standards: delivering best practice conditions for bird behaviour; provide a maximum stocking density; while giving consumers confidence that when they look at the label of a carton of eggs, what they see is consistent across the country. The new QA therefore would provide consumers with the confidence to choose eggs from production systems according to their budget and preference,” Mr Kellaway said.
AECL has been through a three year development process to produce the new programme, which will apply over 170 audit points covering issues from hen health, food safety, farm quarantine and biosecurity, environmental stewardship, egg labeling and hen welfare for all farming systems. The points set out the requirements for best practice in the production of eggs at farm level.
“AECL is pleased that of all the 171 audit points of the new QA programme, the ACCC has raised concerns relating to only a few and we are confident we can allay these concerns given the evidence in favour of those specific points. We recognise the importance of the need for reliable and consistent labelling to provide consumers with the information they need to make informed purchasing decisions,” Mr Kellaway said.