The Egg Producers Federation, which represents free-range, barn, colony and conventional cage farmers in New Zealand, has welcomed the sentencing of former Whangarei egg farmer John Garnett who duped consumers by falsely labelling and selling cage-raised eggs as free-range. Free-range eggs command a significantly higher premium because of their significantly higher cost of production.
John Garnett received a sentence of 12 months home detention and 200 hours of community work. Egg Producers Federation Executive Director, Michael Brooks, says the industry had initiated the action which resulted in prosecution by the Commerce Commission and would not hesitate to act in the interests of consumers in the future.
“The industry identified the problem and ensured the information was relayed to the Commerce Commission and we supported the Commission’s proactive steps to undertake a prosecution. This was a serious breach of consumer trust and industry integrity,” says Michael Brooks.
“We have also taken steps to ensure more stringent traceability processes, enforced by MPI, are in place to prevent this type of dishonest behaviour in the future. “Mr Garnett is no longer farming and has not been involved in the poultry industry for two years.” ENDS