Egg industry and consumers like eggs 'same way'

Recent research clearly demonstrates broad alignment between Australian consumers and egg farmers when it comes to definitions of free range.

Free range production practices, undertaken in accordance with the Egg Farmers Australia free range definition, are consistent with expectations of free range buyers according to a study undertaken by Quantum Market Research.

Egg farmers across Australia expect this research will help inform federal, state and territory governments considering a national free-range standard.


NSW Farmers CEO Matt Brand said: “This study should put some common sense back into the ‘free range’ debate. While consumer views on free range are varied and diverse, they are generally aligned with egg industry performance and management systems.”

“I’m particularly pleased that the research dispels some of the myths being pedalled in the media at the moment.

“The clear evidence is that the industry stocking density of one bird per square metre matches the expectations of nearly three quarters of Australian consumers. It also demonstrates that those who argue that each bird should have 6 square metres of outside space are advocating for only 11 percent of shoppers.

“The research also debunks the myth that ‘free range’ should be simply defined in accordance with the overly prescriptive specifications of most birds moving freely on an open range on most ordinary days. That definition is unclear for producers and inconsistent with consumer expectations.

“I don’t want our egg farmers to have to do a head count of their chooks to figure out if they are going to satisfy the regulator’s expectations. The research clearly tells us that consumers simply want birds to have access to the outdoors. Free range for consumers means choice – birds can go outside if and when they want to,” Mr Brand said.

NSW Framers has pointed to the research following this week’s release of the Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement Free Range Egg Labelling, Consumer Affairs Australia New Zealand 2015 (RIS) by new Small Business Minister, Kelly O’Dwyer.

“It would be unfortunate if the RIS was hijacked by ideology or activism,” he said.

“The definition is in competent hands with Minister O’Dwyer taking the lead. Let’s just hope that the free-range egg standard balances the expectations of the vast majority of consumers with a minority of consumers seeking a very niche brand,” Mr Brand concluded.

ends

 

8 October 2015 


Contact: John Dunn

Phone: 02 9478 1035

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