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National egg labelling information standard 

Submissions closed on 9 December 2016 

The Commonwealth Treasury has released an Exposure Draft Australian Consumer Law (Free Range Egg Labelling) Information Standard 2017 and an Explanatory Statement for public consultation.

Visit the Consultations and Submissions page on the Australian Treasury website to make your submission.

It is expected the information standard will be in place by March 2017 allowing industry sufficient time to comply with its requirements.

Regulation Impact Statement 

A Consultation Regulation Impact Statement on free range egg labelling published by the Commonwealth Government on behalf of Australian and New Zealand Consumer Affairs Ministers has been released for public consultation. The consultation paper formed part of the preparations for the draft national information standard on egg labelling. Stakeholder feedback was invited on the options to increase consumer certainty about egg labelling.

What is this about?  

State, Territory and Commonwealth ministers agreed to adopt a recommendation by the NSW Government to develop a national information standard to enhance consumer confidence on the labelling of ‘free range’ eggs. Currently, there is no national binding definition for free range eggs in Australia.

A Consultation Regulation Impact Statement on free range egg labelling published by the Commonwealth Government on behalf of Australian and New Zealand Consumer Affairs Ministers has been released for public consultation.
The Regulation Impact Statement sought feedback from industry, stakeholders and interested parties on the options proposed for egg labelling. We wanted to hear your views on options to increase consumer certainty about egg labelling.

The four week national consultation period ended on 27 November 2015.

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What's happened so far?  

At the last Legislative and Governance Forum on Consumer Affairs (CAF) meeting in June 2014, government ministers agreed that Consumer Affairs Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) would provide options to Ministers for enhancing consumer confidence and certainty around free range egg labelling.

NSW led an inter-jurisdictional working group that developed an options paper that was presented at the CAF meeting on 12 June in Melbourne. At this meeting, State and Territory Consumer Affairs Ministers together with the Commonwealth, agreed for CANNZ to prepare a draft national information standard on egg labelling for decision by CAF Ministers in early 2016.

On 31 March 2016, CAF Ministers agreed to the introduction of an information standard requiring eggs labelled as ‘free range’ to have been laid by hens that had meaningful and regular access to an outdoor range, and were subject to an outdoor stocking density of 10,000 hens per hectare or less.

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What are the next steps? 

The information standard will provide a safe harbour from claims of misleading or deceptive conduct where a producer has made a free range claim in compliance with the standard. Prior to the safe harbour provisions in this standard commencing, a further amendment to the Australian Consumer Law is required to support safe harbour provisions, and the Commonwealth Government will release those amendments for public consultation in due course.

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Important documents 

The Australian Consumer Law (Free Range Egg Labelling) Information Standard 2017 and Explanatory Statement are available on the Consultations and Submissions page Australian Treasury website.

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Want to stay informed? 

Register your interest in receiving updates on the development of the egg labelling national standard with our registration form on the Fair Trading website.

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