Battery egg producers bow to labelling pressure

14-06-2006 | |
Battery egg producers bow to labelling pressure

Two of New Zealand’s largest battery hen producers will now label their battery egg cartons, after bowing to pressure from animal advocacy organisation SAFE.

SAFE welcomed the move calling it a “triumphant occasion for consumers and caged hens”.

SAFE campaign director Hans Kriek handed over a 51,438 signature petition calling for mandatory labelling of egg cartons to the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Judith Tizard, and Green MP Sue Kedgley at parliament yesterday. The petition complemented Ms Kedgley’s Consumer Right to Know Bill which also calls for mandatory labelling.

“The announcement by Mainland Poultry and Independent Egg Producers to start labelling their battery hen produced eggs is the first positive move. The move to add ‘Cage Eggs’ to egg cartons is welcomed by SAFE. We have been calling for an end to misleading labels such as ‘Farm Fresh’ for years,” Kriek said.

“SAFE will continue to press for mandatory egg labelling legislation as other egg producers still confuse and mislead consumers. Eight out of ten New Zealanders oppose battery hen farming and we expect fewer battery eggs will be sold once consumers can clearly identify these eggs,” says Mr Kriek.

Kriek said consumers are being misled about the origin of the eggs they buy because of the names producers use. He said Europe and several Australian states have already introduced mandatory egg labelling so consumers know how the eggs have been produced.