Chickens in battery cages. Photo Maqi, Wikipedia
Chickens in battery cages. Photo Maqi, Wikipedia Contributed

Egg company faces charge

THE Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Darling Downs Fresh Eggs.

It is alleging the company made false or misleading representations that its eggs were free range, in contravention of the Australian Consumer Law.

The ACCC alleges that from December 31, 2013, to October 6, 2014, Darling Downs Fresh Eggs supplied eggs marketed and labelled as "free range" when in fact the laying hens had been continuously confined to barns and had never had access to the outdoors.

Darling Downs Fresh Eggs supplied eggs it represented were free range under its own Mountain Range label and under the Drakes Home Brand Free Range label.

Darling Downs Fresh Range Eggs also supplied eggs it represented were free range to other producers who used them to supplement their own free range egg supply.

"Consumers are entitled to rely on free range claims made by producers," ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.

"The ACCC considers that the alleged misrepresentations in this case are serious... because (the) hens were never given outdoor access," Mr Sims said.

Darling Downs Fresh Eggs CEO Geoff Sondergeld was contacted for comment, but did not respond.


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