ACCC Rejects Egg Corporation's Definition of 'Free Range'

AUSTRALIA - Consumer watchdog, The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), says the Australian Egg Corporation's free-range egg definition does not meet consumer expectations.
calendar icon 2 November 2012
clock icon 3 minute read

The ACCC is proposing to reject the Egg Corporation's 20,000 birds per hectare free range egg standard, after its initial assessments, reports ABC Rural.

Commissioner Sarah Court says a record 1,600 submissions were received on the issue, and only seven supported the standard. She says that the standard doesn't allow for hens to spend enough time outside to warrant a 'free range' label.

"If I'm a consumer and I'm standing in the aisle of my supermarket and I look down at a box of eggs and there's a picture of a happy chicken outside with long grass, tree and lakes, than that is my expectation of what a free range egg is."

The Australian Egg Corporation says that, despite the ACCC's initial assessment rejecting its free range egg standards, it's confident they will eventually be approved.

"We are confident that there is overwhelming evidence in favour of the new standards," the corporation said in a statement.

"AECL is pleased that of all the 171 audit points of the new quality assurance program, 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."

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