Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren is urging the State Government to support her truthful egg labelling bill after egg producer Pirovic Enterprises were yesterday fined $300,000 for misleading consumers by labelling their products as free range.
“The case pursued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission revealed that stocking densities and flock sizes in Pirovic’s barns meant that most of the laying hens could not move about freely.
“Consumers who have paid a premium for ethical eggs would feel justifiably cheated by this news; we must implement stricter legislation so that labelling is more truthful and fair.
“I introduced the bill late last year to provide certainty for shoppers who prefer free-range eggs. The bill ensures that producers cannot mislead consumers by bending rules on free range requirements.
“Under the bill, the term free-range may only be used when an egg is produced under the conditions of the Western Australian Code of Practice for Poultry, with no more than 1500 hens per hectare, or 2,500 hens per hectare in specific circumstances. A free-range hen must have daytime access for a minimum of eight hours per day to an outdoor range, protected from predators and the elements. They also must have access to a perch, litter and a nest at night.
“Free-range eggs have become big business in Western Australia; we must bring truth back into the egg industry”.