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.
After months of speculation, Yarrawonga’s Alan Williams has been endorsed as the Labor candidate for Murray contesting the July 2 Federal Election.
Three Yarrawonga footballers have excelled at interleague level, representing the Ovens and Murray against Hampden in Warrnambool on Saturday.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
Fletcher and Beau Harris might have only taken up go kart racing two years ago but they’re already showing the potential for future success.
CONSTRUCTION of Rochester’s gym is well into the swing of things, with concrete walls erected early last week.
Kyabram Football Club will host a family day next weekend.
Where there’s a Will, there’s a way
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
RENEWAL works have resumed on the Coliban Main Channel this month.
For most 10-year-olds, mischievous isn’t a word often found in their vocabulary, let alone having the ability to spell it correctly. But for Cobram Anglican Grammar Year 5 student Cadence Pang, it’s all in a day’s work.
Plans for the release of a carp herpes virus has captured the attention of international press.
Farmers from northern Victoria will join a protest rally over milk prices in Melbourne tomorrow, Wednesday.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.