The good news is that on 12 June 2015, government ministers agreed to develop a national standard for free-range eggs. This followed a CHOICE campaign where 10,000 people wrote to ministers about the need for a standard. Now, ministers need to know that you want 'free range' to mean exactly that. Send a message to them here.
Our latest report into the free-range egg market shows that consumers are getting ripped off. Not only do we pay double the amount for free-range eggs over caged but millions of eggs are being sold as free range that don't live up to the claim.
When you buy free range, you should have confidence that the eggs are what you expect. Certification standards exist, but the detail and requirements of these schemes vary. The maximum outdoor stocking densities allowed under each scheme can range from 750 to 10,000 chickens per hectare, and the industry has admitted to 'free range' production at over 20,000 birds per hectare.
The national Model Code of Practice defines 'free range egg production' as a maximum outdoor stocking density of 1500 chickens per hectare. But the code is voluntary.
NSW consumers can use a website designed to help consumers with egg labelling information. But the information it uses comes from a dubious interpretation of the code.
Now that ministers have agreed to develop a national standard, we need to make sure it meets our expectations. Take action here.