Consumers big winners as free range code finally cracked

Thursday 31 March 2016

Victoria’s peak farmer group has welcomed today’s decision by Consumer Affairs Ministers on a national information standard for free range eggs.

VFF Egg Group President Brian Ahmed said the decision to clearly define the term ‘free range’ would give shoppers greater choice and end past confusion.

“We now have a formal definition for the term ‘free range’ – free range hens are free from cages, free to move about inside the barn and free to go outside if they choose,” Mr Ahmed said.

“Now, when people see egg products labelled ‘free range’, there won’t be any confusion over what that means and consumers are free to make the choice they want.”

Mr Ahmed said that the decision was a victory for consumers and industry alike, and that evidence trumped emotion in the final debate.

“It’s great to see common sense prevail in a debate that has been largely emotional and not based on evidence,” Mr Ahmed said.

“The debate on free range has delayed investment in new farms and has placed a handbrake on innovation and productivity.”

Mr Ahmed thanked Federal Minister Kelly O’Dwyer for taking a deliberative approach on the issue, and praised Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford and Consumer Affairs Minister Jane Garrett for supporting the VFF Egg Group’s position from the beginning.

“We appreciate the approach taken by Minister O’Dwyer in addressing this issue, but if it wasn’t for Minister Pulford’s support, I doubt we would have been able to resolve this issue,” Mr Ahmed said.

“Ministers Pulford and Garrett listened carefully from the start of the debate and remained consultative throughout the process and we commend her efforts.”

Media Contacts:

Brian Ahmed, VFF Egg Group President: 0412 558 152

Ashley Mackinnon, VFF Public Affairs Officer: 0417 165 784