Newsroom launches with smashing egg story

Newsroom launched yesterday. They are promising big new things as far as journalism goes but have a lot of media experience behind them. Their About:

Newsroom is an independent, New Zealand-based news and current affairs site. We deliver in-depth storytelling for thinking audiences with an interest in the people, progress, and democracy of Aotearoa. Our team of experienced, award-winning journalists produces quality written and video stories that set the national news agenda and inform intelligent conversations at every level of New Zealand life.

The independence of our journalism is supported by our partners in the corporate and tertiary education sectors, as well as by private donations from New Zealanders. To add your support to our independent voice, make a donation using the Press Patron platform link at the top of this page.

The kicked off with a range of stories, but the one that made the most impact was a revelation that battery eggs were being sold as free range eggs. Following their publication the Serious Fraud Office announced they were investigating.

Millions of caged eggs sold as free range in NZ

Those free range eggs you bought at Countdown may not have been free range at all.

A Newsroom investigation has revealed that millions of free range eggs sold at Countdown before this year were likely to have been laid by caged hens.

They were packaged as Palace Poultry brand free range eggs laid at a South Auckland farm, but Newsroom’s Morgan Tait and Melanie Reid reveal a large quantity are from caged egg suppliers.

If these allegations are true it is a major scandal of deceit that is very embarrassing and for egg suppliers as well as for Countdown. Many customers are likely to feel ripped off and deceived.

They followed up yesterday with SFO investigating Palace Poultry eggs

The Serious Fraud Office has confirmed it is investigating claims that Palace Poultry sold caged eggs as free range.

Countdown supermarkets have today removed all of the brand’s eggs from its shelves after a Newsroom investigation revealed that Palace Poultry was buying caged eggs from an egg wholesaler and using them to bolster its own supply of free range eggs.

The SFO previously “refused to confirm or deny” if it was involved, but today a spokeswoman confirmed it was investigating.

And more today: Countdown to audit all free range egg suppliers

Countdown says it will now audit all its free range egg suppliers following the caged egg scandal.

The supermarket chain removed Palace Poultry brand eggs from its shelves on Monday after a Newsroom investigation revealed that millions of those eggs were caged and not free range.

The audit will be carried out by Quality Assure and is expected to take several weeks. It will include Countdown’s own labels as well as other brands.

Brands caught up in the scandal are, Woodland, Farmer Brown and Countdown’s own brand, Select. Palace Poultry sourced and packaged eggs for these brands, as well as its own, but ceased providing eggs for Select in 2014.

Spokesman for Countdown, James Walker, said “We want to know what’s happening here and we want to know now. All our egg suppliers will be audited by a third party.”

Countdown says it will now audit all its free range egg suppliers following the caged egg scandal.

The supermarket chain removed Palace Poultry brand eggs from its shelves on Monday after a Newsroom investigation revealed that millions of those eggs were caged and not free range.

Brands caught up in the scandal are, Woodland, Farmer Brown and Countdown’s own brand, Select. Palace Poultry sourced and packaged eggs for these brands, as well as its own, but ceased providing eggs for Select in 2014.

And Video: Caged eggs sold in supermarkets as free range

This is a big and very promising start for Newsroom. It is good to have an alternative news source.

 

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16 Comments

  1. Blazer

     /  March 14, 2017

    it certainly is…I never buy free range eggs….because I am such a cynic these days….I try and avoid hype and hyperbole in marketing.Lying is acceptable apparantly,in…’marketing’.Midge Boyle of Baldwin /Boyle a P.R firm passed away recently…I cornered him once in a Newmarket bar ,and accused him of being a ..’paid liar’…his response….’no..’a well paid…liar’!delicious.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  March 14, 2017

      Anyone who uses misleading advertising-deliberate lies-is liable to prosecution, so your statement that lying is acceptable in marketing is wrong, except in the most literal sense.

      It’s a lie, I suppose, that M & Ms will jump out of the bag and run along the check-out belt, or that a catfood will turn the cat into a leopard and/or make it jump through walls, but only a fool would believe that these things will happen. If the ad said that the catfood was 100% meat and it was, in fact, 25% breadcrumbs, THAT would be a lie that would be seen as misleading advertising.

      There’s a paint ad that shows rooms turning a different colour when someone snaps their fingers, something that can’t possibly happen, but not even Graham McGreedy would try taking action against that for being untrue and misleading.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  March 14, 2017

      I buy free range eggs and also get given them. Not from these brands though and the quality is noticeable.

  2. Missy

     /  March 14, 2017

    I am sure some will try to find a way to make this Countdown’s fault, but they – like all retailers – will buy the product on faith. I am glad they are doing an investigation on their other suppliers.

    I am always sceptical of Free Range, as I saw a programme many years ago in Australia where the free range hens had loads of open space, but inadequate shelter and food – the farmer’s idea of free range was to let the hens roam and find their own food.

    In NZ I always bought barn raised with the RSPCA tick of approval.

  3. Kitty Catkin

     /  March 14, 2017

    Newshub also led with this story yesterday, so if Newsroom are claiming to have discovered it, they are stretching the truth a bit.

  4. patupaiarehe

     /  March 14, 2017

    If one wants to be certain that they have a ‘free range’ egg, they should buy a hen or two. Works for me…

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  March 14, 2017

      Do they sing ‘There ain’t nobody here but us chickens/There ain’t nobody here at all.’ when you walk past ?

      • Blazer

         /  March 14, 2017

        you will love this..Kitty…

      • patupaiarehe

         /  March 14, 2017

        Nope Kitty. They do, however, try to get inside the house, & eat the catfood, whenever we leave the door open 😀 They also like to ‘perch’, on the handrail behind the laundry, rather than sleep in their coup. And shit all over the step… 😀

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  March 14, 2017

          Dear little birdies !

          You could always hinge the coop doors so that they only go one way. Furious kicking and squawking would be of no avail.

          • patupaiarehe

             /  March 14, 2017

            As annoying as they are, I don’t believe that caging them is right. And it’s really entertaining watching the kids chase them out of the house. They squalk & cluck, all the way to the door, then hang around, just outside. Until one of the kids throws some bread or birdseed downstairs. Then they scramble all over each other, to get to the food first… 😀

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  March 15, 2017

              I meant when they were closed in at night. ‘In you go, ladies !’

              ‘Hey ! who shut the door ?’

  5. Corky

     /  March 14, 2017

    The litmus test..lets see how they cover Maori and Muslim issues. My guess-a fail. Hope I’m wrong.

  6. Any amount of lies and deceipt is condoned in neoliberal free-enterprise nowadays, provided you don’t get caught …

    If you do, your colleagues – being either suppliers or customers – cut you loose and leave you to the media sharks …

    Mind you, almost any amount of lies and deceit is condoned in the neoliberal media nowadays, provided you don’t get caught …

    Its shark vs shark …

    The litmus test will be how sensitively they cover Maori and Muslim issues …