For eggs to be labelled free range, the Model Code of Practice says there should be a maximum of 1500 hens per hectare. But many commonly available "free range" brands do not adhere to this, with some brands keeping as many as 10,000 chooks per hectare.
"Many consumers are paying extra assuming hens are staying in the equivalent of a comfortable bed and breakfast, but instead they're stuck in a crowded backpacker hostel," CHOICE director of campaigns and communications Matt Levey says.
With 65% of Australians opting to buy free-range eggs in the past twelve months, it's becoming the fastest growing egg sector. But the labelling debacle has created uncertainty for consumers who wish to purchase genuine free-range eggs.
So which free range brands stack up? We managed to find the stocking densities of 35 of the free-range egg brands on the market. However, not all free-range egg brands on the market make their stocking densities available.
In : truth in labelling