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Information standard finalised for free-range egg labelling

Consumers have been given clarity and confidence, following a new free range egg labelling standard which came into effect nation-wide on 26 April 2017.

Federal Small Business Minister, Michael McCormack, has confirmed the long-awaited egg labelling and stocking rate information standards, saying shoppers now had the information they needed to make informed choices when buying free-range eggs.

The new information standard, registered under the Australian consumer law, requires eggs labelled as free-range to have been laid by hens with meaningful and regular access to the outdoors and with an outdoor stocking density of 10,000 hens a hectare, or fewer.

Egg Farmers of Australia (EFA) has welcomed the finalisation of the Free-Range Labelling Information Standard.

“The new standard will bring simplicity and clarity to the term 'free range' and it will ensure that when consumers choose to buy free range they will know exactly what they are getting,” said John Dunn, CEO, Egg Farmers of Australia.

“Under the new standard, every farmer must give their hens meaningful and regular access to an outdoor range. Any hen who wants to go outdoors will be able to do so, if she chooses to.

“People will also be able to see on egg cartons how many hens per hectare there are on the farm. Displaying stock density information on egg cartons gives the choice to consumers.

“Consumers will now have confidence that when they buy free-range that’s what they’re getting. They’ll also have more choice with stocking density to be displayed on carton.

“After years of uncertainty, farmers will have the confidence to invest in new free range farming facilities and technologies, such as new environmental controls in sheds to keep hens cool during summer and enrichments to range areas.

Minister McCormack said the new standard was reached after many months of consultation with industry and consumer groups, with hundreds of submissions received during public consultations.

For more information, go to: Australian Consumer Law (Free Range Egg Labelling) Information Standard 2017

This article was first published in part on Egg Farmers of Australia website.

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