Latest News

  • 05 Apr 2017 11:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Australia's first free-range egg information standards is to be launched before Easter, with all producers required to "prominently" display their farm's bird density on cartons within the next 12 months.  Consumers can expect to see densities ranging from 30 birds per hectare up to 10,000/ha on free-range egg cartons. Read the full article here:

  • 15 Feb 2017 6:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The integrity of the process for developing Australia's new poultry standards is in question, with scientists raising concerns about inaccuracies and the RSPCA threatening to quit.

    Three animal welfare scientists sent a scathing letter, seen by Fairfax Media, to the group writing the legal requirements for poultry welfare, saying their research had been distorted in supporting papers to appear in favour of conventional caged egg production.

    Read the full story here:

  • 16 Jan 2017 10:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Choice spokesman Tom Godfrey said the national standard for free-range eggs signed off on by government ministers across the country last year did not meet with consumer expectations of free-range.

    Mr Godfrey said the term free-range eggs "has been hi-jacked by industrial egg producers... which is unfair to free-range farms who invested to produce free-range eggs people expect and want."

    Read more here:

  • 09 Dec 2016 9:55 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Friday is the last chance for shoppers to submit thoughts on the draft the RSPCA says could allow more stories to surface such as that of Perth's Snowdale Holdings, found guilty in May of misleading the public about its brands, which include Free Range Eggs by Ellah and Swan Valley Farm Premium.

    There has been no official standard for Australian free-range eggs apart from CSIRO recommendations; Humane Society International called the term "virtually meaningless" in Australia following the Snowdale revelations.  Read more here:

  • 22 Nov 2016 8:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    When our grandparents thought about what to eat, they didn't have to consider what their food choices might be doing to the environment, what animal welfare conditions were like or even what bad effects their food might have on their bodies.  They didn't stand motionless in supermarket aisles, head down, squinting at tiny labels, and there weren't whole sections of the shops they needed to avoid.

    Both RSPCA and Humane Society International Australia (via its Humane Choice True Free Range certification) provide more consistent standards that producers must abide by to get approval.  Humane Choice, with its "True Free Range" standards, lists on its website the producers it has certified and in many cases where you can buy the products.  Read the full article here:

  • 07 Nov 2016 8:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We see all sorts of labels on our meat, from terms such as free-range and grass-fed to Heart Foundation ticks. What do they mean? Which have legally set meanings and which are just marketing ploys?

    RSPCA approved: The RSPCA has a set of guidelines for each different animal, and they provide assurance against inhumane animal conditions, although their guidelines allow for more intensive farming than some other groups. For example, the RSPCA legislates a maximum of 30 sows (pigs) per hectare compared with 'Humane Choice' guidelines which legislates a maximum of ten. Read the full article here:

  • 28 Sep 2016 1:43 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Andrew and Jodie Green of Aloeburn Poll Merinos are celebrating 10 years of no mulesing.  The decision was made in 2006 that the logical way forward in breeding Merino sheep in Australia was to select animals with naturally bare breaches who did not require mulesing.

    The Aloeburn Poll Merino Stud has been working with Dr Jim Watts for 30 years, classing sheep under the SRS (Soft Rolling Skin) principles.  Read more here:

  • 20 Sep 2016 12:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This week, The Land reports on Mayfield Farms' free range pork production, a Humane Choice certified farm at Hernani in New South Wales.  Siblings Ian and Sandra Bannerman said that their decision to become Humane Choice certified has paid off with customers, and it means that their animals are raised ethically and can practice their natural behaviours.

    Read the full article here:

  • 12 Sep 2016 9:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Australian non-mulesed wool is being bought before auction by overseas buyers willing to pay a premium.  The manager at Shelford's Warrambeen Merino stud, Andrew Kirk, said wool from their past two shearings had been sold to overseas interests at a higher price than it would have made if it had gone under the hammer.

    Warrambeen owners, the Taylor family, made the decision to stop mulesing almost a decade ago due to animal welfare concerns.  They have tackled the problems mulesing is used to combat through genetics and a change in management.  "Breeding is out No.1 tactic," Mr Kirk said.

    Read more here:

  • 09 Aug 2016 3:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The state winners of the 2016 delicious. Produce Awards have just been released and are due to appear in the September issue of delicious. magazine, on sale later this week.  This year the country’s top chefs and restaurateurs nominated the passionate producers they work closely with, and Humane Choice* producers were amongst them.

    The pasture-raised Pekin Duck from Burrawong Gaian poultry was named a state winner in the ‘From the paddock’ category for New South Wales.  Owned and run by Beth and Hayden McMillan, their premium quality duck and chickens are used in the restaurants of well-known chefs Kylie Kwong, Neil Perry and Colin Fassnidge.  Their farm runs both ducks and chickens, priding themselves on sustainable organic farming.  They started with just 200 birds, but now process 300 ducks and 600 chickens each week. 

    Beth McMillan of Burrawong Gaian says, “Our birds are ethically and sustainably raised on pasture and our Humane Choice accreditation ensures a true free range or pasture raised model is practised on our farm.”  They are also home to the only Food Authority ‘A’ rated poultry abattoir on the mid North Coast of NSW, so their birds only move a matter of metres from the paddock to the processing facility, greatly reducing stress levels.

    Walker Farm Foods Nomadic Pastured Chook Eggs were also listed as state winners for Queensland, another Humane Choice certified farm.  Their laying hens are free to roam in paddocks on the Sunshine Coast, moved every few days to a new selection of fresh grass.  They lay their eggs in mobile chicken caravans and are loyally protected by guardian maremma dogs.

    Humane Society International’s Program Manager for Animal Welfare, Georgie Stewart, said, “We are delighted that these ethical producers are reaping the rewards because they have worked so hard to bring consumers produce from animals treated with the highest possible animal welfare standards in Australia.”  Mrs Stewart continued, “Humane Choice, a certification scheme launched by Humane Society International ten years ago, has long been an advocate for farmers that promote a free range alternative, a market that has grown considerably over the past decade.  There is a growing movement of ‘back to basics’ farmers that want to produce food, not just a commodity.  They want to farm their livestock and land with respect.  These winning farms have come a long way for small producers and are helping to ensure that the best free range practices continue to become a big part of the industry.”

    According to delicious. Editor-in-chief Kerrie McCallum, the calibre of entries was unprecedented in terms of quality.  The judging panel consisted of 39 Australian food leaders and the stated winners will now progress to the national judging phase.
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