Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016
The Federal Court has ordered an egg producer to pay a pecuniary
penalty of $300,000, contribute $25,000 to the legal costs of the
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
(ACCC) and establish a trade practices compliance
program after the court found that the egg producer had engaged in
misleading and deceptive conduct by marketing its eggs as
In ACCC v Pirovic Enterprises Pty Ltd  FCA 1028,
the respondent was found to have engaged in misleading and
deceptive conduct in breach of section 18 of the Australian
Consumer Law by selling eggs branded as "Free Range
Eggs" and engaging in other marketing activities promoting the
eggs as "free range".
The court found that by labelling the eggs as free range, the
respondent was representing to consumers that the eggs were
produced by hens that were farmed in conditions such that the hens
could and did in fact move about freely on an open range on most
days. The court found that in fact most of the hens did not move
about freely as a result of a combination of the stocking density
of the barns, the flock sizes in the barns and the number, size,
placement and operation of the physical openings to the open
The court noted that in marketing the eggs as free range the
respondent had regard to the following:
that its farming conditions were consistent with the practices
of most of its competitors marketing eggs as free range
its labelling practices were reviewed by the Australian Egg
Corporation and deemed compliant
the respondent's free range egg farms had a "Level
A" accreditation for free range egg production under the Egg
Corporation Assured National Egg Quality Assurance Program Trade
Mark Certification Scheme (the Scheme)
the NSW Food Authority deemed the Scheme to be compliant with
the Primary Industries Standing Committee's Model Code of
Practice for the Welfare of Animals – Domestic
This case is part of a larger investigation by the ACCC into the
marketing of eggs as free range by Australian producers.
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The Sportscraft refunds and returns policy limitations went beyond consumer's rights under the Australian Consumer Law.
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