On 31 March 2016, Consumer Affairs 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.
The information standard will require producers to prominently disclose the outdoor stocking density of hens laying free range eggs on their packaging allowing consumers to easily compare different brands of eggs labelled free range.
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 Government will release those amendments for public consultation in due course.
The Decision Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) is available through the Office of Best Practice Regulation website.