THE state government has denied selling out Tasmania's egg industry as claimed by the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association.
TFGA chief executive Jan Davis said moves towards making the state's industry cage-free were burdening producers with added costs and were out of step with other Australian states and consumer wants.
The government last year imposed restrictions on the number of birds allowed per cage on battery farms, providing $2 million in grants to producers switching to non-cage systems.
Applications for grants can be made by the end of this month through the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.
Ms Davis said that with other states scheduled to make similar changes in the next few years, the government was selling out its own farmers.
``The impact on our industry is going to be appalling because nobody in the country is doing this,'' Ms Davis said.
``Farmers should be allowed to run their businesses in manners which enable them to respond to the consumers they wish to service.
``We're listening to our consumers and we're told 85 per cent of people buy their eggs based on price.
``The government consistently talks about its concern for low-income people and here it is deliberately removing options for Tasmanians to buy products based on price that are local - products that employ Tasmanians and contribute to our state economy.
``They are forcing people that buy on price to buy from interstate.''
A state government spokesman said changes were made to support the industry by responding to market trends.
``More and more, consumers are turning to free-range eggs, and these measures are aimed at helping producers make that transition,'' he said.
Ms Davis said the state government did not even support Tasmanian producers through buying its eggs in the state, opting for Queensland instead.
The spokesman said the government was reviewing its egg procurement criteria.