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26 April 2018
Carton of eggs

New labelling will appear on free range egg cartons from April 26 2018 to help consumers make more informed decisions when purchasing eggs. The new Information Standard introduced by the Commonwealth Government under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) outlines new obligations for egg producers when promoting or selling free range eggs.

Eggs can be labelled as free range if:

  • Eggs are laid by hens that had meaningful and regular access to an outdoor range during daylight hours across the laying cycle.
  • Hens are stocked at 10,000 or less per hectare.

When buying eggs produced as free range, check the labelling and/or signage to ensure it prominently displays the term ‘free range’ and the stocking density.

How consumer laws apply

The ACL places an obligation on traders not to mislead consumers in promoting their goods and services. Any claims that eggs are ‘free range’ means they must come from hens that a reasonable consumer would consider are produced in a free range environment.

A producer is in breach of the information standard if the requirements for using the term ‘free range’ is not complied with.  It is clearly misleading to claim eggs are free range when the hens that laid the eggs have never left the shed or are significantly restricted from doing so.

For more information

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has developed a free range eggs guide to help egg producers understand their rights and obligations when promoting or selling eggs as free range. It will also help consumers understand the new standard for free range eggs.