Freeranger Eggs is a free range egg farm at Grantville in the southern Australian state of Victoria. Our hens are never locked up, they are fed a natural diet of grains with no additives - and they are not beak-trimmed. Its mission is to show that farming can be conducted ethically, with environmentally sustainable outcomes and high animal welfare standards.
Agriculture Victoria is hosting a series of free workshops to help new and existing small-scale pig and poultry producers prepare a land use planning permit application. participants will be eligible for the supporting grants program of up to $3,000 for expenses related to on-farm works, consultancy, or training that supports the preparation of a land use planning permit application. For details contact Ann McDowell firstname.lastname@example.org
Unfortunately the series of webinars on starting free range egg farms has been cancelled. The first was scheduled for World Egg Day this year - October 10, but has been halted by the failure of a crowd funding campaign. It was hoped to raise $8000 to prepare the webinars to a professional standard with effective graphics and video content. It was planned to develop webinars suitable for a range of climates and regions to encourage the establishment of small scale poultry farms across the globe.
Australia’s food safety record is being questioned. World Food Safety Day was held on June 7 and the Food Safety Information Council released a report card detailing Australia’s food safety record. There are an estimated 4.1 million cases of food poisoning in Australia each year, which translates into about 16 out of every 100 people The 4.1 million cases result in an average of 31,920 hospitalizations, 86 deaths and 1 million visits to doctors. Recent recalls of milk and eggs from supermarkets has added to consumer problems. There is a clear need for an overhaul at Food Standards Australia New Zealand.
Current egg farm problems in Australia and around the world are a direct result of adopting intensive production methods. An article in the UK Smallholder magazine in June 1934 acknowledged that “mass production is not only here to stay, but it would be adopted more and more; but much of the troubles of the industry were due directly to mass production. "To make a success of mass production permanently, it follows that a revision of methods will be necessary. In the hands of careless or unscrupulous men it is a menace but in the hands of the careful and honest it will be the only means of making a good profit.” In Australia,recent serious food safety incidents involving egg recalls have demonstrated that the careless and unscrupulous have been hard at work counting their money.
The Managing Director of Australian Eggs, Rowan McMonnies, says Government authorities and the egg industry have stabilised potential food poisoning issues from contamination by Salmonella Enteritidis. He has said that the emergence of SE in Australia was caught early and all contaminated sites were limited to a cluster of ‘interconnected farms.’ Farm management practices are the focus of on-going investigations.
Western Australia seems to be moving towards introducing effective labelling and stamping requirements for eggs. WA Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan described the system of labelling of eggs and traceability as a ‘joke’. She said “WA is the only State that doesn’t have a proper egg traceability system, there is no regulation and we need to modernise that and introduce more discipline.” Commercial Egg Producers Association of WA president Ian Wilson said an industry-led committee would work with the State Government to deliver tighter standards and procedures. He said while most eggs were stamped on farms before sale and it accurately reflected where they were laid, a weakness in the system meant the eggs could be bought from elsewhere and stamped as though produced on that farm. Mr Wilson said better traceability standards, identifying the origin, flock and system, would also help in situations such as the recent Eastern States recalls for salmonella. Unfortunately egg stamping in the eastern states does not provide adequate traceability, because exemptions mean that many eggs are not stamped on farm.
WE are having problems with our farm emails - we receive them OK, but we can't reply or send new nessages. We were using Windows Live Mail but when that started playing up we were advised that as microsoft no longer supported live mail, we needed a new email programme. So I downloaded Mozilla Thunderbird. But that hasn't helped - we still can't send emails on our farm account.It doesn't recognise the password with our ISP's outgoing server so the connection fails. Thank goodness we also have gmail and Facebook which allow us to keep in touch.
The latest United Nations report on the implications of climate change on all life on earth is a serious ‘wake-up’ call for everyone to do their bit in the drive to halt pollution and global warming. The impacts of industrial agriculture on the environment, public health, and rural communities make it an unsustainable way to grow our food over the long term. Scientists recognise that better science-based methods are available. At Freeranger vEggs, we believe the report validates the importance of our our proposed webinars to encourage the establishment of more freerange farms. Everyone can help to establish more genuine, small scale free range egg farms by supporting a programme of webinars demonstrating all the processes involved. The webinars will encourage hundreds more farms to be established all over Australia. Freeranger Eggs in South Gippsland has run workshops in the past, but the webinars will reach far more potential egg farmers. An eBook on starting a free range farm is also available through the Freeranger website. Once the target is reached, the webinars will be free and all participants will receive a copy of our eBook.The Crowd Funding appeal is at:https://www.gofundme.com/2tar52c
Anyone with a website is probably fed up with a barrage of emails from people claiming to be SEO experts(Search Engine Optimisation). We get at least four or five every week. One of the latest ones claimed they could get our site http://www.freeranger.com.au onto the first page of Google. They also said we should Canonicalize our IP address. I contacted our site host, Weebly who said that was rubbish. The junk mailbox is pretty full!
Clear consumer demand for free range eggs has generated a strong increase in the number of people thinking about starting their own free range egg business. A good starting point is reading the eBook on starting a free range farm available on the Freeranger Eggs website: www.freeranger.com.au . Detailed information is available on the Freeranger Club downloads page about things like shed requirements, food safety, egg packaging and labelling. When you decide to set up a free range egg farm, take the time to plan it properly. Find out the zoning of the land and talk to your local Council planning department about their requirements. It’s also worth contacting the State Department of Agriculture. You can find on-line resources in most states. In Victoria, contact: http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/agriculture/farm-management/business-management/permits/guidelines-for-rural-planning-applications. Once that is sorted, talk to your Council Environmental Health Department about any specific requirements they have before you get underway.