South Australians are encouraged to have their say on the introduction of a draft national standard for free range egg labelling.
Business Services and Consumer Affairs Minister Gail Gago said public consultation will today be launched on the issue.
“Consumer Affairs Ministers have agreed a national standard is urgently needed to improve consumer confidence and certainty around egg labelling,” she said.
“When shoppers buy their eggs, it’s very important they should know exactly what they are paying for, and the environment from which the eggs come from.
“For far too long, Australian consumers have been confused about the way eggs are labelled, particularly the definition of ‘free range’’ across the states, and we want to see this cleared up.
“Over a four-week period, the Federal Government will carry out an extensive consultation process on behalf of Consumer Affairs Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ).
“This is a valuable opportunity for both consumers and producers to provide their feedback on the Consultation Regulation Impact Statement, which proposes two possible options for a national standard.”
Roundtable discussions will be held in a range of locations to engage major stakeholders – including animal welfare task groups, industry members and consumer bodies.
Ms Gago said the State Government has been pushing for a national solution and to achieve a nationally-agreed definition of free range eggs for some time.
“We support recent national progress on this matter and I look forward to future discussions and deliberations with Consumer Affair Ministers on addressing this important issue,” she said.
“Without a national solution at present, and states not having the ability to regulate interstate producers, jurisdictions must consider options to develop a solution that provides consumers with certainty about what they are buying without causing detriment to the local egg industry.
“While the proposed voluntary Free Range Egg Code in South Australia was announced in the absence of a national solution, we welcome a consistent national solution as a priority.
“I strongly encourage industry and consumers to provide feedback on the proposed options.”
Following consultation, a draft national standard will be developed for consideration by Ministers.
Written submissions are open until Monday, 2 November 2015. For more information visit www.treasury.gov.au/consultationsandReviews/consultations