The Australian government believes national labels would give consumers more confidence in purchases

The Australian government believes national labels would give consumers more confidence in purchases

The creation of a national standard on egg labelling in Australia has moved a step nearer, with the release of a consultation paper on the issue.

"In June, the meeting of federal, state and territory Consumer Affairs Ministers agreed this consultation paper would be the first step in identifying what further action may be required to offer consumers assurance that their free range eggs are labelled correctly," Kelly O’Dwyer, Australia's minister for small business, said. "Our aim is to balance consumers' need for clear and accurate information with any potential red-tape burden for producers and retailers.

Some of the possibilities being considered include a basic definition of ‘free range’; compulsory disclosure of specific information to consumers; the creation of specific labelling categories such as 'premium free range' and 'access to range', and a possible "defence" to help egg producers who are unsure of when it would be appropriate to use a free range label.