Getting started in Dairy

Find out the food safety requirements for a new business that wishes to farm, manufacture, import, store or transport dairy products for sale in NZ or for export.

All dairy businesses must meet legal requirements, which ensure their dairy products are safe and suitable for human consumption. Find out about legislation and guidance that applies to your new business.

Road Map Dairy Legislation (234 KB PDF)

On these pages you can find requirements specific to dairy products. However, there are also general requirements you may need to meet. You can find these in the General requirements & programmes section of this site. Refer particularly to Good Operating Practice (GOP), Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), Food Safety Programmes (FSPs) and Risk Management Programmes (RMPs).

General requirements & programmes

Harvesting milk

If you are milking animals and want to sell their milk or products made from their milk, you must comply with the Animal Prducts Act (APA) 1999. This means you must by operate under a registered Risk Management Programme (RMP).

You can find further information about meeting these requirements by clicking on Farm dairies in the left-hand menu, then RMPs for farm dairies.

Manufacturing dairy products

If you intend to manufacture dairy products, you need to operate under an audited Food Safety Programme (FSP) or a registered and verified Risk Management Programme (RMP). You can find out more about this on the page, Introduction to manufacturing, which is under Dairy manufacturing in the left-hand menu. In the Manufacturing section there is also advice about manufacturing for export and information about meeting food safety requirements for making yoghurt, ice-cream, cheese, liquid milk and unpasteurised milk products.

Selling dairy products

If you sell dairy products made by a registered dairy manufacturer, you need to meet the same requirements as other food retailers. Find out about these in the Retail and wholesale section of the site.

Retail & wholesale

Importing dairy products

If you import dairy products, you need to know about the general requirements that importers meet. You can find out about these in the Importing section of the site. If you wish to import raw milk products, there are specific requirements. Click on Manufacturing dairy in the left-hand menu and then Unpasteurised milk products for further information.


Transporting and storing dairy products

The requirements you meet for transporting or storing dairy products depend on whether the product is intended for export or sale in Australia and NZ. Refer to the page Storing & transporting in the left-hand menu for further information.

You can also find information about storing and transporting food and food-related products in the Stores (cold & dry)  and Transport & wharves sections of the website.

Stores (cold & dry)

Transport & wharves