Home > Chicken processors, suppliers to pay $400,000 over 'free to roam' claims

Chicken processors, suppliers to pay $400,000 over 'free to roam' claims

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Baiada Poultry and Bartter Enterprises, the suppliers and processors of Steggles chicken products have been ordered by the federal government to pay $400,000 in penalties over misleading 'free to roam' claims.

The Australian Chicken Meat Federation Inc (ACMF), the peak industry body for Australia’s chicken meat industry, was also ordered to pay $20,000 in penalties.

The court declared that Baiada and Bartter engaged in false, misleading and deceptive conduct (or conduct liable to mislead and deceive) when it described on product packaging and in advertising that its meat chickens were ‘free to roam in large barns’.

It was found that prior to day 42 of a growth cycle of up to 56 days, the chickens were kept at stocking densities which didn't allow them to move around freely.

The ACMF was found to be engaging in false, misleading and deceptive conduct by claimed in publications on its website that meat chickens produced in Australia were ‘free to roam’ or able to ‘roam freely’ in large barns.

ACCC chairman, Rod Sims, said "Consumers are increasingly making purchasing decisions that value the types of claims that directly affect the integrity of the product, such as where or how something was made, grown or produced.

"Consumers must be able to trust that products match descriptions so they can make informed purchasing decisions. Misleading credence claims can also undermine the level playing field and disadvantage other suppliers."

In making its orders, the court also ordered ACMF to send a letter to its members advising of the outcome, with a copy of the court’s judgment enclosed, and ordered ACMF's staff to attend trade practices compliance training.

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