Consumers should make own choice on caged eggs: industry body

A leading representative group for the egg industry has slammed announcements from leading supermarkets and other retailers that they will sell only cage-free eggs.

Australian Egg Corporation Limited has labelled the decision by Coles and Woolworths to refuse to sell eggs from one egg production system as “misguided.”

It believes the decision whether or not to purchase caged eggs should be based on a consumer’s personal choice and not a forced decision.

The AECL says consumers are being “manipulated” because cage eggs do actually “deliver welfare benefits to hens.”

Woolworths has announced its removal of caged eggs from its Woolworths Select brand line, and true to form, Coles also decided to follow suit this week announcing that by January it will have the same rules.

Coles had previously committed two years ago to banning caged eggs in its private label line by 2014, but will now bring that forward by a year.

The Animals Australia television campaign currently being shown nation-wide is misleading consumers by using emotive language and well-known personalities to promote their message, according to AECL.

James Kellaway, AECL Managing Director said the proof is in the figures, with current statistics showing 55 per cent of the Australian egg market is made up by caged eggs.

The remainder is made up by barn-laid and free-range eggs.

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