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Australian Greens submission to ACCC re Egg Corp 'Free Range' Standard application

Community expectations that factory farmed animals will be treated in a humane way continues to grow in Australia. This welcome development is matched by people increasingly seeking out free range products. They're particularly hungry for free range eggs. "Free range" eggs are the fastest growing part of the egg industry, and in fact are the only segment to grow in sales since 2010, by a substantial 24%. The problem is there is no national Australian Standard or consistent legislated definition of what is a 'free range' egg. So the 'free range' labelled eggs consumers see in the shops can come from chooks living in quite varied conditions. Some eggs sold as 'free range' in Australia come from farms where the stocking density can be as low as 15 hens per hectare. In vast contrast, the Australian Egg Corporation, which represents large industrial egg producers, is currently looking to register a standard that defines free range production as covering up to 20,000 hens per hectare. In the Australian Greens submission to the ACCC, which is currently considering the application, we have called on the consumer watchdog to reject the Egg Corporation's application.

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