Farmers embrace free range labelling transparency
Following careful consideration the association has supported NSW Government plans announced this week to enforce a maximum upper limit on stocking density of one bird per square metre and to mandate the disclosure of external stocking density on all free range egg cartons.
NSW Farmers’ CEO Matt Brand said: “Farmers simply want to give consumers the egg they want with the information they need. If capping external stocking density and mandating the disclosure of stocking density on carton can increase consumer confidence, then we are happy to do it.”
“This free range debate has gone on for far too long. It’s time for clarity for consumers and certainty for egg farmers.
“There are many different opinions about appropriate outdoor stocking densities for free range hens but the only relevant test is whether the birds have enough space on the range. Putting a cap on stocking density and mandating its disclosure on pack puts this squarely in the hands of the consumer.
“I can guarantee consumers that any farm that gives each hen at least one square metre of space provides that hen with ample room to roam and forage. Hens are social animals and like to flock together.
“Ultimately, this is a test for the consumer and we want to give them more information so they can make an informed choice.
“Cracking the code on egg labelling laws should give consumers greater choice without distorting the market. The proposal put forward by the NSW Government delivers on those criteria and we are happy to support it,” Mr Brand concluded.
30 March 2016
Contact: John Dunn
Phone: 02 9478 1035