No more free rein
Australia may not have a meaningful standard for free-range eggs, but that doesn't mean that dodgy producers will always get away with passing off their eggs as "free range" when they're not.
The ACCC has taken the position that "any free-range egg claim must be backed by farming conditions which allow hens to actually move about on an open range each day," says ACCC chairman Rod Sims.
It investigates producers reported to be making false and misleading representations in their labelling and promotion of eggs as free range, and significant penalties are imposed by the Federal Court if these producers are found to be guilty.
To date in its investigations in this space, the ACCC has found hens living in conditions that no reasonable person would describe as free range. It found hens unable to access or move freely on an open range on most days because certain farming conditions inhibited them from doing so, including:
- flock size in the barns
- size, number, placement and use of the physical openings to an open range.
- doors to barns kept shut at all times.
We're pleased that the ACCC is taking action in this space. Consumers have a right to know which producers have been ordered to pay-up big for flogging dodgy "free range" eggs at high prices in supermarkets, so we're putting the spotlight on them – we'll update this list if and when further judgments are passed.
Egg producers taken to court by the ACCC
|| Egg brands (states available)
| May 2016
|| Eggs by Ellah
Swan Valley Free Range
Wanneroo Free Range
| To be confirmed
| April 2016
||Derodi and Holland Farms (Free-range Egg Farms)
|| Ecoeggs (Nationally except Tas)
Port Stephens free-range eggs (NSW, Vic)
Field Fresh free-range eggs (NSW)
| September 2015
||Darling Downs Fresh Eggs
|| Mountain Range Eggs
Drakes Home Brand Free Range
(Qld, NT, NSW)
| September 2014
|| Pirovic Enterprises
|| Pirovic Free-range Eggs
How to buy truly free-range eggs
- Download our free app, CluckAR, to see virtual stocking densities when you're shopping in the egg aisle.
- Use our free-range egg buying guide to see which brands are truly free range.