Yesterday, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) called for public comment on the proposed Australian Egg Corporation’s (AECL) new standard that would allow an increase in stocking density for layer hens to 20,000 birds per hectare.
Humane Choice first brought this matter to the ACCC’s attention fifteen months ago.
“When we learned that the Egg Corporation (AECL) had applied for a Certification Trademark we appealed to the ACCC to reject the application because of the unacceptable proposal to increase stocking rates and the lack of consultation with the egg industry,” said Lee McCosker Chief Operating Officer for Humane Choice. “This did result in putting the AECL plans in a holding pattern and explains why we have not seen the standard released to date, but it also resulted in state wide consultation with producers.”
AECL has had to revise its application several times, with the first submissions not even making reference to the proposed stocking increase even though they had displayed a version of the new standard on the AECL website and informed producers of their intentions.
“It appears the intention of the AECL was to present a standard to the ACCC that suited the larger industrialized producers while seriously marginalizing the genuine free range farmer. We can only trust that the ACCC has recognised this and also acknowledged that the consumer will be disadvantaged if this standard were to ever make it into the marketplace,” McCosker said. “The AECL Egg Standard is not about distinguishing certified producers by the application of the ESA Mark, it is an attempt to make sweeping changes to the entire egg industry, and consumers and true free range farmers will just not tolerate that.”
You can read all about the ACCC call for comment and how to participate at this link www.humanechoice.com.au/accc