Free range fraud as research reveals rip-off

WHEN it comes to buying your Christmas ham - it seems you may be being told porkies.

With people increasingly wanting to make more sustainable and ethical choices when it comes to choosing the meat they put on their plate - buying free range has become all the rage.

But are we being sold a lie?

According to CHOICE Magazine, when it comes to pork and turkey you may be being ripped off.

They reviewed ham, turkey and other pork products, which had been marked up 600% and claimed to be free range.

With no legally binding definition of free range in Australia, producers and retailers are free to make their own decisions about free-range labeling, CHOICE stated.

The animals can be farmed under a wide variety of conditions that may not gel with consumer perceptions of free range.

The loose definition of free range is a source of frustration to some smaller farmers.

"You won't find genuine free range in the sense that consumers understand it in supermarkets," owner of The Free Range Butcher Ben Cinch said.

"The big brands are looking for maximum marketing appeal at the supermarket shelf, for minimum system changes on the farm."


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