On 31 March 2016, Consumer Affairs Ministers agreed to the introduction of an information standard for the labelling of free range eggs, along with a safe harbour in the Australian Consumer Law.
The information standard was registered on 26 April 2017 and will come into force on 26 April 2018.
The safe harbour will provide protection from claims of misleading or deceptive conduct under the Australian Consumer Law where a producer has made a free range claim in compliance with the information standard. The standard requires 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 also 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 Decision Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) is available through the Office of Best Practice Regulation website.
Comments are being sought on the exposure draft legislation by 13 September 2017.