Handsome Brook Farm Statement in Response to
Organic Consumer Association’s
False Allegations Regarding Egg Carton Labeling
Franklin, N.Y. – (Sept. 1, 2016) – Handsome Brook Farm has issued the following statement in response to meritless claims by The Organic Consumer Association (OCA) and Animal Defense Fund (ADF) regarding the labeling of its pasture raised eggs.
The complaint filed by the Organic Consumer Association and Animal Defense Fund alleging inaccurate labeling of Handsome Brook Farm’s pasture raised eggs is completely without merit and the company will vigorously defend itself in court. In the spirit of cooperation, and prior to the filing of the complaint, we repeatedly requested proof of what is alleged but plaintiffs have declined to provide it.
The claims against us highlight a pattern of frivolous assertions and anti-competitive behavior by organizations with questionable corporate affiliations. For instance, similar allegations were invalidated in May when Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC/Certified Humane) disseminated false information about Handsome Brook Farm, in an effort to direct business to at least one of their members who is a national competitor to Handsome Brook Farm. In that case, a judge issued a preliminary injunction against HFAC and ordered it to issue a retraction letter. We believe that the facts are on our side in this case as well and that we will be successful in court, again.
We have voluntarily operated under our own strict and category-defining animal welfare standards since our inception in 2008. As of March 2016, Handsome Brook Farm eggs are certified as pasture raised by the American Humane Association, the oldest animal welfare certifying body in the United States. This certification requires that we maintain rigorous animal welfare standards, such as providing 108 square feet of pasture per hen, as well as protection from inclement weather and predators. The American Humane Association certification process includes not only regularly scheduled third party audits, but also ongoing farm reviews by Handsome Brook Farm team members to assess and monitor compliance on an ongoing basis, and to take any corrective actions if necessary.
Handsome Brook Farm is proud to be a leader in the animal welfare movement. Since 2008, we have worked to define and promote the ‘pasture raised’ term and category, pioneering the standards and practices required to make eggs from sustainably, humanely raised chickens available to the public at an affordable price. The best eggs come from chickens that have the space and freedom to behave like chickens, and we look forward to continuing to provide consumers with eggs that reflect the highest standards of quality, fair trade practices, and commitment to animal welfare.