Consumer Affairs Ministers from across Australia have agreed for the first time to adopt a national information standard for free range egg labelling.
Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello welcomed today’s agreement at the Consumer Affairs Forum in Canberra.
Under the agreement, free range eggs must come from hens that have meaningful and regular access to an outdoor range, with a stocking density of no more than 10,000 hens per hectare.
Outdoor stocking densities (hens per hectare) will need to be prominently displayed on packaging. A safe harbour defence will also be introduced to provide clarity for egg producers on enforcement of the new standards.
“NSW brought forward a proposal at the last CAF meeting in June to develop a draft national information standard which won the support of the ministers around the table,” Mr Dominello said.
“I am pleased that we were able to achieve a sensible outcome today which will enable consumers to make more informed purchasing decisions.
“About 13 million eggs are consumed each day in Australia and demand is continuing to grow. Eggs labelled as free range sell at a premium and our decision today means consumers can be sure they’ve got what they’ve paid for.”
Information standards are a feature of the Australian Consumer Law designed to ensure product information is consistent so consumers can make informed decisions about what they are buying.