'Free range' producers on eggshells over misleading claims

THE consumer watchdog has put egg producers on notice over using the term "free range", after one company was fined $300,000 over misleading claims.

The head of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission told a farm industry conference in Melbourne he was writing to producers this week.

Letters will encourage egg producers to consider reviewing the words they use on packaging and egg cartons to ensure they do not breach consumer laws.

The decision was made after the ACCC took egg company Pirovic to court.

The company was fined $300,000 in the Federal Court, in September, because its "free range" claims were false or misleading.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said while some producers expressed concern there were no standards, the commission believed a standard was not needed.

"In the Pirovic case the court ruled that free range means the birds can and do go outside on most days. It is up to producers to determine how to meet this commonsense definition," he said.

- APN NEWSDESK


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