Billboard calls for Assistant Treasurer to end the free-range uncertainty

A consumer-funded billboard has been unveiled in the Victorian electorate of Assistant Treasurer the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer by CHOICE, calling for the delivery of standards amongst free-range eggs to meet consumers’ expectations.

The billboard was funded by 866 individuals who donated over $26,000 to get the message across to Minister O’Dwyer and her state and territory colleagues as they are set to make a decision on a free-range egg standard early this year.

According to CHOICE spokesperson Tom Godfrey, the Assistant Treasurer has the opportunity to create a meaningful egg standard.

“Consumers want free-range claims to mean something in Australia. At the moment, many claims are little more than cynical marketing slogans used to contrive a price premium,” Godfrey said.

“The support for the billboard further highlights how passionate consumers are about this issue and their firm views on what free-range should mean. They want a standard to reflect these expectations.”

Some egg producers have been actively lobbying for a standard that sets a lower benchmark for free-range production than the definition established through case law.

By mobilising Australia’s largest and loudest consumer movement, CHOICE fights to hold industry and government accountable and achieve real change on the issues that matter most.

What CHOICE wants

At a minimum, a national information standard should require that eggs labelled ‘free-range’ are produced in farms where:

  • The majority of chickens actually go outside regularly
  • Birds have room to move comfortably when outdoors
  • Birds have room to move comfortably inside the barn
  • Farmers undertake animal welfare practices 

Any products that don’t meet these minimum requirements should be labelled in a way that accurately reflects how they were produced, for example ‘access to range’.