ACCC sends a clear message to egg producers
There have been many twists and turns during the struggle for truth in labelling for free range eggs but the latest revelations from Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) indicate how well the industry is being controlled by the members of the board of Australian Egg Corporation Ltd. (AECL). The board members include all the biggest names in egg production, and it has now been alleged that they have used this position to their own advantage.
The latest ACCC allegations of cartel behaviour by AECL stem from their attempts to coerce producers into killing hundreds of thousands of hens to control egg prices.
These allegations come after AECL marched out a huge campaign to support their push to have 20,000 hens per hectare certified as free range; however the small producers fought back. Humane Society International (HSI) has supported these small producers to ensure that free range hens remained free, and to make certain that consumers are able to make an informed and ethical choice when buying eggs.
The ACCC have now instigated legal proceedings against two of Australia's largest suppliers of free range eggs for alleged misleading conduct in relation to their free range claims. Both of these operators were Egg Corp Assured under the AECL owned quality assurance program.
It was during the process of investigation into consumer and producer outrage over the AECL application for a certification trademark, which would have seen the escalation of free range eggs stocking density, when the true story of manipulative management at the egg corporation began to unravel.
HSI Director Verna Simpson said, “AECL management have brought discredit to their own industry in what looks like an attempt to line the pockets of its own. The Australian tax payer helps fund the AECL and they, as well as the hens, deserve so much better.”