Egg Farmers of Australia (EFA) has endorsed the national approach to egg labelling agreed to by State and Federal Ministers for Consumer Affairs this morning.

The Ministers agreed to pursue an enforceable national definition for free range eggs at a meeting in Melbourne.

EFA spokesman John Coward said a national approach would help build consumer confidence in eggs as well as clarity and certainty for egg farmers.

“We want to make sure consumers get what they are paying for. But some people in this debate are forgetting about the rights of egg farmers, who are the experts when it comes to farming. Investment in the free range sector appears to have slowed because of the lack of clarity around the definition of free range,” Mr Coward.

“However, we don’t want to rush into a new labelling system without proper consultation with egg farmers to ensure we get the details right,” he said.

Earlier this week, Egg Farmers of Australia presented Minister Dominello with a new definition of free range agreed to unanimously by the State Egg representative bodies that compromise EFA.

The new definition is: ‘Laying hens in free range farming systems are unconfined within a ventilated hen house. They have access to and are free to roam and forage on an outdoor range area during daylight hours in a managed environment.’

Mr Coward said he hoped for an outcome that would ensure existing free range egg farmers could continue farming to accepted principles.

“But I also hope organisations like Choice will be more accurate in their commentary on this important debate as their misinformation only confuses consumers.”

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