Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Free range eggs

There have been concerns about just what amounts to a "free range egg", and it seems that a standard is to be developed.

About time!  Many of us pay extra for eggs that we believe to be produced under (relatively) humane conditions.   Just the same, the "devil will be in the detail", so we await with interest what the standard will prescribe.  And why wait until 2015?  The fact that are ACCC prosecutions in the wind seems a lame excuse.

Of course, even in the absence of some sort of standard, it's always open to the producer to specify what their practices are.   We recently bought eggs where it was prominently stated on the carton that the 1,500 hens per hectare standard applied.   Very commendable.

On the other hand, another brand, well-represented in supermarkets, gives no information at all on the packaging or its website as to how it defines "free range".

It's also important that statements about the source of foods are accurate.   Hopefully  Saskia Beer  now understands this.

Update:   After posting the above, I looked at the packaging of Coles "Free range eggs".  It states a maximum of 10,000 hens per hectare outdoors, and that the hens are "free to naturally roam and perch".   I don't know about the density but at least the information is there, and presumably the ability to perch is desirable. 

1 comment:

  1. There is a lot of stuff around about this topic, dealt with satirically in the recent ABC Checkout program Series 2 Episode 6 , still available on ABC iview. A more tabular exposition can be found for meat and eggs at
    There are a couple of badges to look out for on the cartons. mere "free range " doesn't cut it.