Media Release

​Cracking the egg labelling code

10 November 2015

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, has thanked egg industry representatives for their frank views on a national standard for egg labelling at a roundtable meeting today in Canberra.

“It’s an important issue for consumers and producers and I appreciate the chance to hear directly from industry representatives from across the nation,” Minister Joyce said.

“The main message from the egg representatives today was they need certainty—the current confusion over the meaning of free range is a risk to future growth and sustainability.

“This robust, efficient industry is worth $700 million to the Australian economy and meets domestic demand for eggs to high standards of food safety, biosecurity and hen welfare using a range of egg production systems.

“The Australian Government is delivering on its commitment to eliminate the uncertainty over labelling with the recent release of a consultation paper.

“The paper outlines three broad policy options: the status quo, an information standard for free range eggs and an information standard for all eggs.

“The closing date for submissions on the consultation paper has just been extended to 27 November.

“The local demand for eggs is increasing—the average family of four ate 884 eggs last year, up nearly 4 per cent on the previous year.

“This government recognises agriculture as a pillar of our economy and we are committed to putting the right policy settings and practical measures in place to ensure the sector reaches its full potential.

“Our Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper sets out real actions we are taking for agriculture. For the egg industry in particular, our commitment to boosting research and development and additional funding for emergency pest and disease eradication ability will play a critical role in its future.”

For more information on the Free Range Egg Labelling Consultation Paper go to: treasury.gov.au​​.