I am sitting in front of the TV with my lap top, watching channel 7’s ‘Sunrise’. They just had a ‘Choice’ representative talking about the 2008 Shonky Awards.
The Australian Egg Corporation wins a Choice Shonky Award this year for their free-range egg standards.
Choice says that the term ‘free-range’ has no legal definition in Australia and the vast majority of free-range eggs are certified by Australian Egg Corporation (the national industry body representing about 90% of producers).
Choice writes “it’s (Australian Egg Corporation) Egg Corp Assured scheme has a more relaxed definition of free-range than the voluntary standards, making it easier for members to use the free-range label and access the shopping dollar from concerned consumers.”
To give you an idea the Egg Corp Assured scheme allows 14 hens per square metre of shed area which is not much less than the 18 hens per square metre in a cage. Also Egg Corp allows beak trimming and shed sizes on a scale that means many chooks will never find their way outdoors.
Choice says “if you’re buying free-range eggs because you believe in animal welfare, the brands in the big supermarkets may not be meeting your expectations”.
After reading the choice report I will again look at the eggs I buy. I will now buy eggs that:
- Are certified by RSPCA
- Meet the voluntary standards such as ‘FREPAA’, ‘Free Range Egg’ and ‘Poultry Association of Australia’
I will no longer buy free-range eggs that have been certified by the Australian Egg Corporation’s Egg Corp Assured scheme.
I will do some more research and write another post on what eggs I now have decided to buy.
** Note, I have updated information on this subject published in a more recent post. Please chick on this to view new post.