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.
The sky is the limit for Wanganui Year 12 VCAL student Leigh Polan, 18, who decided to create two posters examining birdlife around the school.
The under 16 Pigeons kick started the YFNC's finals campaign with a resounding victory over the Paul Spargo led Scots College in the Grand Final of the AWJFL Elwyn Langford Shield at the Albury Sports Ground on Sunday.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
An ad for the Healthy Ageing Project will be filmed in Echuca, Rushworth and Rochester today.
More than $15,000 was raised at a family day on Sunday. The event was to raise money for the families of Barry Purtell and Dave Lobb.
Book Week gets colourful turnout.
Deaprtment of Environment and Primary Industries unhappy about Mt Disappointment vandals.
Jerilderie Shire deputy mayor Ruth McRae handed the key over for the new Rural Fire Service station last Friday.
Farmers have a new weapon in the fight against mice.
Cobram kids learn about health with hospital as state-wide obesity campaign is launched.
Murray Irrigation to search for new boss after Anthony Couroupis finishes with the company.
A few anxious customers were outside the closed gates of the failed Bee-Jay Machinery business on Goulburn Valley Hwy in Shepparton on Tuesday morning, wondering what would become of deposits they had paid for tractors and other machinery.
The Benalla Indian Myna Action Group will pay a $1 per bird bounty on live birds delivered to CAL farm. National Party MP Bill Sykes donated $100 to fund the bounty.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
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.