Consumer group CHOICE has launched a free app to help shoppers navigate the free-range egg market by scanning the carton in the supermarket.
The app comes as the Consumer Affairs Ministers signed off on a national standard for free-range eggs. This left the market with no requirement for hens to go outside and have free-range eggs, to be produced by hens stocked at up to 10,000 birds per hectare – more than six times the current voluntary limit of 1,500.
“With Augmented Reality on your phone or tablet we now have the power to make labels tell the truth, even when government won’t require it,” said Tom Godfrey, CHOICE head of media.
“With the new ‘free-range’ rules clearly reflecting the commercial interests of the big industrialised egg producers over consumers, we had to intervene in this market to make up for the failing of Consumer Affairs Ministers.
“Following Ministers’ farcical decision last Friday, we have called for consumers to show their support for honest food labelling and boycott bad eggs.
“The new CluckAR app will help those Australians who really do give a cluck about genuine free-range eggs in the supermarket by pointing them in the right direction,” Godfrey says.
CHOICE has consistently called for a free-range egg standard that meets consumers’ expectations. At a minimum, a standard for free-range eggs should require that eggs labelled ‘free-range’ are produced in farms where chickens actually go outside and have a maximum outdoor stocking density of 1,500 hens per hectare.
“CHOICE has done the research so we know which eggs are fair dinkum. Just download the free app for iPhone or Android, point your device at the label and let the 3D chooks tell the story,” said Viveka Weiley, CHOICE’s Head of New Things.
CHOICE’s research has shown that 213 million eggs were sold as free-range in 2014 that didn’t meet consumers’ expectations.