01.The people have spoken...
You voted, we listened! The 2013 People's Choice Shonkiest Shonky winner has been chosen ‐ ecoeggs, take your bow a second time.
The People's Choice Shonkiest Shonky ecoeggs won in a landslide victory, with 919 votes out of a total 2512 cast.
Following the eighth annual Shonky Awards last week, CHOICE launched a ‘People’s Choice Shonkiest Shonky’ poll, inviting members of the public to vote for who they thought were the worst of the worst of this year's Shonky winners.
“With a high ‘free-range’ stocking density, sky-high price, and questionable ‘eco’ credentials, the Shonkys have shined a light on ecoeggs' stocking densities, and consumers are in a flap,” says CHOICE spokesman Tom Godfrey.
In the case of ecoeggs, the product’s stocking density of 20,000 chooks per hectare is more than 13 times the free-range limit of 1,500 defined in the national model Code of Practice.
“They've met the Shonky’s criteria through consumer confusion, consumer frustration and plain outrage. The people have spoken, and as a result ecoeggs have been crowned the People’s Choice Shonkiest Shonky.”
“The Shonky awards shine a spotlight on products and services that are sneaky, slippery, unscrupulous and sometimes unsafe. While Shonky award winners may not be breaking laws or breaching regulations, CHOICE believes that consumers deserve better products and services. We think ecoeggs are not all they’re cracked up to be, and it seems people agree.”
The infamous Shonky award follows CHOICE’s super-complaint to Fair Trading NSW in August this year calling on the regulator to investigate misleading ‘free range’ egg claims that have seen consumers paying double the price of cage eggs for products that are unlikely to meet their expectations.
“Consumers are flocking to ‘free-range’ eggs, which now account for approximately 40 per cent of the market, but the lack of a nationally enforceable standard means many so-called ‘free-range’ products don’t come close to meeting consumer expectations of what the term should mean.”
“In November last year the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) provided an initial assessment rejecting a proposal from the egg industry that would have certified up to 20,000 birds per hectare as ‘free-range’, saying the rules might ‘mislead or deceive consumers.’1
“A closer examination showed that despite ecoeggs being one of the most expensive products, it has the poorest declared standard and only 10 eggs per pack.”
CHOICE is calling for a nationally enforceable standard for ‘free-range’ eggs, developed with industry and animal welfare experts.
“With an increasing number of Australians paying a premium based on ‘free-range’ claims, CHOICE thinks it’s crucial consumers have confidence they get what they pay for, and an enforceable national standard would achieve that.”
While ecoeggs was the clear People’s Choice Shonkiest Shonky award winner, EnergyAustralia came in second place with 387 votes.
Catch up on all the Shonky winners, learn more about free-range definitions and find out more about CHOICE's free-range campaigning.