Supermarkets aren’t meeting the mark on free range eggs 4



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Eggs in the package on wooden table

You spend ages looking at the stacks of eggs in the aisle of your supermarket, zeroing in on the carton that says ‘free range’ so that you can say you’re doing your bit for animal welfare and because eggs laid by chickens who haven’t been cramped in their cages all day taste better anyway.

But a major investigation by Fairfax has revealed that if you shop at the major supermarkets there’s a good chance those free range eggs at your house are the ‘genuine’ article.

Fairfax visited five supermarkets across the country — two Woolworths, two Coles and an IGA, and discovered that out of 30 products claiming to be ‘free range’ only three actually met the definition as endorsed by the CSIRO and the RSPCA.

To come to this conclusion the investigation used an app developed by consumer advocate Choice called ‘CluckAR‘; a revolutionary little tool to support the group’s tireless campaigning for improved and more meaningful labelling in relation to free range eggs.

The worst performer in this experiment was Woolies, which had not one single brand that met the code. That includes the home brand and select ranges labelled ‘free range’ in case you were wondering.

According to the research, Woolies and Coles get their ‘free range’ eggs from producers who have a stocking density of 10,000 birds per hectare, which is the legal maximum allowed for eggs to be labelled ‘free range’. However, a CSIRO draft code backed by the RSPCA outlines no more than 1,500 hens per hectare is a more suitable ‘free range’ measurement and this is the standard Choice and CluckAR is going by when it defines ‘genuine’ free range eggs.

Aldi also comes under fire for continuing to sell own-brand cage eggs. It’s ‘free range’ eggs do not meet the standard either.

But it was great news for IGA, which had one brand labelled ‘free range’ meet the CSIRO/RSPCA standard.

Do you buy ‘free range’ eggs at the supermarket? Do you think supermarkets need to follow the CSIRO/RSPCA guidelines or is the legal definition of ‘free range’ satisfactory?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. thats what I been saying to these free range advocates for ages you dont know what you are buying, just because it says on the package free range dont necessarily mean they are, its a con , you want real free range eggs buy your own chooks put in the yard & build a hen house on wheels so you can change their position daily, safe from cats n dogs , lift up hatch get your eggs & be happy

  2. This whole “Free Range – Organic” thing is getting out of hand. Don’t tell me what to buy unless you are paying my bills.

  3. Come on guys, they are chooks! No one says a word about the babies we slaughter every day. The world is upside down!

  4. Louis King I couldn’t have said it any better. I particularly like your comment Don’t tell me what to buy unless you are paying my bills.

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