ACCC spotlight shines on more Egg Corp producers
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) have instigated proceedings against more Egg Corp Assured producers this week. Derodi Pty Ltd (Derodi) and Holland Farms Pty Ltd (Holland) have been allegedly misleading consumers with their use of the term ‘free range’. Humane Society International is once again thrilled that the ACCC have taken on board one of our formal complaints and conducted such a thorough investigation of these egg brands.
Derodi and Holland, who operate under Ecoeggs, Field Fresh and Port Stephens egg brands, join more high profile brands and major producers who are also currently under investigation by the ACCC for similar misleading claims. HSI submitted a formal complaint to the ACCC in March 2012 after our investigations revealed that Ecoeggs and Port Stephens egg brands may have been falsely labelling their eggs as free range, displaying the Australian Egg Corporation’s Egg Corp Assured logo on the packaging.
Details of the deceptive operation of these egg brands were also supplied to the head offices of Australia’s major supermarkets, yet they chose to continue stocking the contentious produce and have taken no action.
“True free range egg farmers, who follow the guidelines of the Model Code of Practice and stock no more than 1,500 hens per hectare and where the birds are kept in conditions where they can move around freely on an open range every day, are being let down by larger producers taking advantage of the system,” said Verna Simpson, HSI Director, “Consumers are buying these eggs with the expectation that the birds are free to roam and have access to the outdoors unrestricted. They are being deceived.”
The ACCC’s announcement today takes us a step closer to bringing clarity to the free range marketplace and ensuring consumer expectation is being protected. The Swan Valley court case in WA is another great outcome as a result of ACCC investigations, and HSI is hopeful that the conclusion of these inquiries will help to finally resolve this issue, preventing any more consumer deception and protecting genuine free range egg and pork producers, and their animals.