CHOICE membership

Law changes on Free range eggs

free-range
eggs

#1

So disappointed today by the decision of changing the definition of free range! How can we consumers be protected? I always use the app, however most of the times ( especially at Coles) I end up not buying any eggs because NONE is really free range… And now it will get worse
Very annoying


#2

Doesn’t worry me in the slightest. I just keep buying the eggs I’ve always bought knowing that they’re ethical…or at the very least I buy eggs that STATE on the carton that they’re from a low density farm.


#3

It doesn’t affect me personally, as we have our own free range organically fed chooks, but it is certainly disappointing that the government has (yet again) caved in to pressure from big business lobby groups.
Buying certified organic free-range should allow you to choose proper free range, rather than the (now false) marketing label of free range. As ozcatfish_agogo says- look for cartons that specify the stocking density and conditions.

It appears the new alternative for those looking to avoid the ‘packed in like sardines’ method of egg production will be ‘pastured eggs’.


#4

The only way to change things is to do your research and vote with your money by only buying eggs which have low stocking densities marked on the carton. if lots of people do this, they’ll get the message! Annoying though that they can push rubbish laws through! big business puppets at work again!


#5

I agree that it is very disappointing. Big Business won again.
Like others, we buy our eggs from suppliers who state an ethical free-range.


#6

Extremely annoyed by this hijacking of the ‘free range eggs’ tagging that allows consumers to make ethical choices. 10,000 hens per hectare is not free range!!!

Big producers and the supermarkets can now hoodwink consumers into thinking they are buying ‘free range’ when it is really a misnomer. Big producers will be able to increase market share while smaller producers with up to 1,500 hens per hectare, and higher costs, will be pushed out of the market or face hardship to get the returns they need to remain viable.

I will continue to buy genuine free range eggs with my favourite 3 brands in South Australia.

Perhaps a visual add on stamp/label on the carton to indicate lower hens per hectare could be used/promoted by the producers to counteract this bastardization of the concept of ‘free range’ by government and big producers?


#7

I agree we can only vote with our dollars, I will continue to look for and purchase approved low density pasture free range eggs and when I buy from the farmers market and they aren’t on the choice app I add them.


#8

Which 3 brands are they? Im in Adelaide and went looking for a carton of free range eggs in a supermarket after work and could only find 1 on the Choice genine free range list, but they were a day or so away from their use by date so wouldnt of been used. There was another brand called Barossa Free Range eggs. I had to go or i would of missed my bus.

The top of the carton had several gold seals that included phrases like “Hen Welfare first,” “Genuine Free range assured,” “HACCP quality assured” and “SA Government accredited.” It also states family owned business since 1935. It also said in the carton that the eggs are exclusively sourced from the family farm in Cockatoo Valley, but they were packed by Solar Eggs in North Plympton. There was also a website on the back. Tried accessing it but it wasnt working. There was also a quote from a member of the family.

After getting home i found the cluckAR app and tried scanning it and it wasnt recognised. Further research via Google showed that Solar is run by the same family as Barossa Free range, and their other brands include Adelaide Eggs, Gourmet Breakfast, Hens on the Range and Freedom Island. Its left me thoroughly confused. There also appears to be an interactive on the Solar website about their process, but appears as tho i cant get it to work with Chrome


#9

They get a mention here, near the bottom:


#10

Im pretty sure its a different brand even though it sounds similar. The Barossa Farm brand is run by a South Australian company and has the official South Australia brand on the carton.


#11

In our area the supermarkets supply this companies eggs http://joshsrainboweggs.com.au/our-farms/
True egg farming with ethically raised chickens we just avoid all the other brands because most are clearly playing games with the intent of 'free range egg production.


#12

It sounds like the RSPCA is threatening to quit the Poultry Standards Advisory Group over the integrity of the board.


#13

I recently bought a pack of eggs saying on the box less than 1500 birds per hectare. I am not sure how true that is.


#14

At one level isn’t that like any labelling where we have to have some trust? How do you know the list of ingredients on a pack is accurate? How do you know the weight of a pack is accurate?

Answers are universally that we trust them, but we have the right (and sometimes the duty) to test those claims, and if found to be bogus name and shame and report them to the ACCC or fair trading and so on, who will usually do from nothing to tapping them on the shoulder for an explanation, to prosecution in the most egregious misleading cases.

It is obvious some things are more easily verified like weight, some require laboratory analysis, and others such as counting chooks a visit the farm. In a practical sense some claims are left to properly funded, properly equipped oversight organisations and … oh wait, who are they?

The ACCC is spread pretty thinly and picks its fights but it has enforceable powers if an egg producer/supplier is caught out.


#15

The reliability of many egg brands looks doubtful. The Choice app CluckAR is useful to a point. Other than Woolies in the next township, which locally only carries three brand names, all the local stores (eg butcher, IGA, fruit stores) carry free range branded eggs that are not in the app.

One of these we traced to a producer in a nearby area. The egg carton carried a mysterious label and growers certification for free range. The certificate label has a non active web site. It appears it is a self appointed certification label by two or three producers who have created their own egg production free range certification organisation. Being small they are genuinely “ free to range” IE fly under the radar without accountability.

Perhaps the free to roam statement is correct. What is not stated is if this is daily, weekly or once a year for lent? I suspect many of us are still paying for what are still essentially barn produced eggs with a free range mark up?

P.s. I tried to send an update to the Choice app, however my iPad and the app did not want to play together with the reply feature. It’s an email and ISP issue that does not need a public discussion.


#16

That seems as Shonky! as the many other industry created and owned and operated certification organisations. Perhaps a nomination if you sent in particulars?


#17

After Coles dropped McLean’s Run Free Range Eggs, just like everything else, we now only buy Mungalli Premium Pastured Bio Eggs, which are produced on the Atherton Tablelands, from our local Supa IGA.

Not cheap at $7.98 for a carton of 10 extra large eggs but, as well as the animal welfare aspects, we enjoy their superior taste.

We used to also enjoy their delicious bio-dynamic, organic, full cream milk until we needed to change to low fat milk.


#18

Gipsycook, Your suspicions and your decision to stop buying all eggs at the supermarket are well founded. As you say, there is virtually no such thing as genuine, humanely produced, free range eggs… certainly not as far as commercial farming is concerned.


#19

1500 Hens per Hectare vs one hen per square metre.

One small positive change, and it’s from Canberra.

It’s interesting to speculate whether the bigger government in Canberra would consider this to be worthy of notice, or just another bubble moment best ignored?