Commonwealth, State and Territory Consumer Affairs Ministers have decided to establish a free range egg standard that will provide better information for consumers.
Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer met with her State and Territory counterparts for the fourth Legislative and Governance Forum on Consumer Affairs to consider a range of reforms, including Country of Origin Labelling, the commencement of the Australian Consumer Law Review and the establishment of a free range egg standard.
“I am pleased we have been able to collaborate across state and territory borders to bring forward these reforms, which will help improve consumers’ information and confidence when they purchase free range eggs,” Minister O’Dwyer said.
“The new information standard also provides certainty for farmers which will help encourage innovation and investment in the industry.
“Currently there is no single national definition of free range eggs. The new information standard for free range eggs will require hens to have meaningful and regular access to the outdoors, with outdoor stocking of no more than one hen per square metre (maximum 10,000 hens per hectare).
“Farmers of free range eggs will also be required to prominently disclose their outdoor stocking density of their hens, allowing consumers to easily choose their preference.
“Ministers agreed to the standard following an extensive consultation process which began in October 2015 with nearly 10,000 consumers, farmers, retailers and advocacy groups providing input.
“Animal welfare issues relating to free range eggs will be considered as part of the review of the model code for poultry by Agriculture Ministers with public consultation beginning in September 2016,” Minister O’Dwyer said.