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Minister welcomes egg accreditation scheme

Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton today congratulated the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for its enabling consumers to buy eggs certified as coming from hens which were free range.

The SPCA accreditation scheme was officially launched at Parliament in Wellington today.

Mr Sutton said many New Zealand families bought food purely on price. But there was a market of consumers who purchased food on animal welfare grounds.

"All consumers want to buy food that is safe to eat, and we legislate to ensure that here in New Zealand.

"But some consumers want to buy food produced in specific ways ? in this case, in a way they perceive as more animal-friendly. I am a firm believer in the customer being king, and I am delighted to see the SPCA working with the egg industry to produce an audited system where consumers can be sure that they are buying eggs produced in a way they want."

To promote the scheme, the SPCA was to give every MP in Parliament a carton of six accredited eggs. Mr Sutton said the cartons of eggs the SPCA gave to him and Labour junior whip Chris Carter for all Labour MPs today would be passed on to the Downtown Community Ministry.

ENDS

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