Australian Egg Corporation takes issue with Coles on caged eggs
The Australian Egg Corporation Limited (AECL) has responded to a new Animals Australia campaign against caged egg production and moves by Coles to stop selling Coles brand caged eggs from January 2013.
The AECL has said that banning eggs from one egg production system is “misguided” and that the decision to purchase or not to purchase caged eggs should be based on consumer’s personal choice. The AECL said that that consumers were being “manipulated” and that that cage eggs “deliver welfare benefits to hens.”
The current Animals Australia campaign uses emotive TV campaigns to encourage consumers not to support the caged egg and sow stall pork trade. Animals Australia’s TV campaign features tennis icon Pat Rafter, TV personality Rove McManus and musician Missy Higgins.
According to AECL Managing Director, James Kellaway, caged eggs represent what consumers want because they make up 55 per cent of the Australian market. The other 45 per cent of Australian egg producers is made up of barn-laid and free-range eggs.
Coles rival Woolworths has previously removed caged eggs from its Woolworths Select brand line. Coles will follow suit by January 2013, a year earlier than they announced in 2010.
Australian Pork says the Animals Australia campaign is “misleading”
Meanwhile, Coles has announced it will also stop selling Australian brand pork, ham and bacon from sow-stalls by January 2013.
General Manager of Communication at Australian Pork Limited, Emily Mackintosh, told Australian Food News that the industry encourages major retailers to embrace Australian Pork industry which had “voluntarily made a commitment to phase out sow stalls in November 2010.”
Yet according to Ms Mackintosh, 65 per cent of ham, bacon and pork sold in Australian supermarkets is imported from overseas where “there is no intention to phase out sow stalls.”
“The Animals Australia campaign is irrational and ill-informed and is aimed at Australian producers who are doing the right thing,” she said.
Australian Pork said that they had committed to phasing out all Australian sow stalls by 2017, and that the time is neccessary because of a long process requiring environmental and planning approval to build new farms. It is expected to cost the industry $50 Million.
Coles rival Woolworths previously said it was expecting all of its fresh pork to be sourced free from sow-stalls by mid 2013.