Our dedication to organic products is in the name, but sometimes we have to include different levels of ethical produce because of supply, cost or availability. We want to help provide you with stepping stones to organic eating and meet the needs of all of our customers and to do so includes providing free-range products like chicken, pork, and eggs. The first thing to distinguish is: what is the difference between organic and free-range?
You can learn what organic means here, but in essence it is animals which are fed and live as naturally as possible, including food free of growth hormones and pesticides. Free-range is different: generally, free-range means the relevant animals are provided reasonable and comfortable space to exist in their environment. This means different things for eggs, chickens, and pork.
FREPA is one NGO which works with Australian farmers to meet an accredited guideline for free-range quality. Since 1993 FREPA has provided guidelines, audits and codes of practice. You can see which well-known chicken meat products FREPA accredits on their website.
Similar to chicken meat, free-range eggs describe the quality of life provided to the chickens. Free of cages or barns, with enough square footage to live how chickens would naturally live. The Queensland government has a general guideline for labelling free-range eggs. FREPA also manages egg production standards across Australia with the same guidelines and standards as their chicken meat.
We have eggs available for purchase online and in-store from a few certified farms around the coast. Piggy in the middle chickens get an acre per 30 chickens. Kenilworth eggs are FREPA certified.
Both RSPCA general guidelines and APIQ Free Range Certification (industry standard) are concerned with ethical pork management. The queensland government also have a ethical guideline which writes maximum stocking densities of 20-25 dry sows per hectare and 9-14 lactating sows with piglets per hectare.
Gooralie pork is a certified free-range farm with both RSPCA and APIQ certifications. The APIQ free-range certification includes requirements such as access to rooting and/or foraging areas, wallows (where state regulations and seasonal climates permit) and kennels/huts for shelter. Huts provide protection for the piglets when they are very young. Free-range pigs are given the proper room to live, wallow and eat, how they would in the wild. It includes their happiness and quality of life.
Free-range also makes a different to the environmental impact of agriculture farming. With authentic foraging and waste, the ecosystem is managed naturally. The animals receive the relevant nutrients from the Earth and re-invigorate the Earth in turn. For you, the animals taste better, feel better and are more nutrient-dense than conventional farming.
Free-range meat like chicken and pork, and other products like eggs, benefit from the animal getting to live as normally as possible, where they graze, exercise and rest as they would. It’s an important step in ethical farming which has many benefits for the animal, the meat you eat and the environment. To see what free-range meat and eggs we have on offer, or to see our range of organic products, check out what's on offer in store or online.