Swan Valley case takes a deadly turn
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) court case against Snowdale Holdings Pty Ltd (Snowdale) has taken a turn this week with the emergence of new evidence of cruelty and unsanitary conditions at Snowdale egg farms. The ACCC instigated court proceedings against Snowdale in December last year, as a result of Humane Society International's (HSI) formal complaint against the egg producer. Snowdale is one of Australia's largest egg producers, and there is strong evidence they have been misleading or deceiving consumers for years through their use of 'free range' labelling.
Snowdale account for the majority of free range eggs in Western Australia and are sold in Australia’s major supermarkets, including Coles and Woolworths. In 2011, HSI began investigations into Snowdale, who trade as Swan Valley Egg Farm and Eggs by Ellah. Our investigations revealed that Snowdale are misleading or deceiving consumers with regard to their free range labelling.
In early 2012, on the back of HSI’s formal complaint to the ACCC, we wrote to both Coles and Woolworths alerting them to this conduct. Not only did both supermarket chains show no interest in the evidence, they continue to sell Snowdale’s eggs.
Today, HSI has again written to Coles and Woolworths with details of the contentious operation at Snowdale in the hope that they will reconsider stocking their produce, in light of the new evidence exposed by the West Australian media today.
HSI is hopeful that investigations by ACCC into the egg industry will finally lead to a national legal definition for free range eggs, and a fairer go for true free range producers and consumers, who have been repeatedly let down by the questionable larger players in the industry.