Federal, state and territory ministers have agreed to establish a free range egg standard that they say will keep consumers better informed of their choices.
Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer met with her state and territory counterparts in Canberra, discussing a range of reforms including establishing a free range egg standard.
“I’m pleased we’ve 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,” she said.
The agreement institutes national standards that must be met in order for eggs to be classified free range. These include a minimum stocking density of 10,000 hens per hectare, with eggs cartons to display stocking density.
These measures do not go far enough, says consumer group Choice, with no requirement for chickens to be allowed outside.
“We believe that eggs which come from hens that don’t go outside and [are subject to] high stocking densities don’t meet consumer expectations, and don’t deserve a ‘free range’ label,” Choice said on its website.