Free-range eggs will finally have a national standard, giving consumers more food for thought when making their choice.ALEXANDRA BATHMAN June 24, 2014 3:20am
Dookie free-range egg farmer Jo Nelson said consumers would benefit from a national free-range egg standard.
Australia’s state and territory consumer affairs ministers recently agreed to introduce a legally enforceable standard for free-range eggs.
One local producer welcomed the news.
Free-range egg farmer Jo Nelson operates Good Lookin’ Googees at Dookie with her husband Dave and said the range of industry accreditation models created a range of different definitions for free-range.
‘‘If there is one set of rules the customer will know what product they are buying,’’ Mrs Nelson said.
‘‘The consumer makes their own decisions and the product makes a difference to them.’’
The existing framework applying to free-range eggs includes CSIRO’s Model Code for Welfare of Animals: Domestic and Poultry.
It defines free-range as a farm with a maximum of 1500 chickens per hectare — but only the ACT follows the model and it is not enforceable.
The only state to have a free-range standard is Queensland, allowing 1500 to 10
Good Lookin’ Googees farms 1500 Hy-Line chickens across 48
Mrs Nelson said a standard should consider whether chook sheds were movable or fixed as well as the number of chickens per hectare.
‘‘You need to move the chickens around otherwise you can end up with muddy paddocks because chooks just scratch all the time and that to me does not mean free-range,’’ Mrs Nelson said.
‘‘As long as they have grass, they are fine.’’
Mrs Nelson said the final standard needed to be fair across the industry.
She believed the current voluntary standard of 20
‘‘I would say 1500/ha would not be enough space but you’ve got to factor in the bigger farms,’’ Mrs Nelson said.
NSW Fair Trading commissioner Rob Stowe said the framework for a national standard would be revised early in 2015.
‘‘There is a need for co-ordination between industry, government and regulatory and non-regulatory agencies to develop a sound approach to clearer labelling requirements for egg producers,’’ Mr Stowe said.
In the meantime, how can you tell if you’ve bought a good free-range egg?
‘‘A free-range egg will have a thicker egg white,’’ Mrs Nelson said.
Coca-Cola Amatil has confirmed it will be pressing on with its $100 million redevelopment of SPC Ardmona.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
A snake was spotted this afternoon.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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