Dairy manufacturing

If you manufacture dairy products, find out about the requirements and legislation that apply to you.

The information in this section is also relevant to:

  • recognised agencies
  • other people and organisations who have an interest in dairy manufacturing.

Meeting the requirements for manufacturing

All dairy businesses must meet legal requirements, which ensure their dairy products are safe and suitable for human consumption. Legislation that sets out the requirements for dairy manufacturers includes:

  • the Animal Products Act (APA) 1999
  • Animal Products (Dairy) Regulations 2005.

New Zealand Legislation: Animal Products Act 1999 (External website)

New Zealand Legislation: Animal Products (Dairy) Regulations 2005 (External website)

The requirements are further described in:

  • Notices and specifications
  • approved criteria – these outline the technical requirements for inclusion in a Risk Management Programme.

MPI offers supporting documentation that can help you meet requirements in the form of:

  • guidance
  • Codes of Practice (COPs)
  • information pamphlets

Click on the pages in the left-hand menu to find the legislation and guidance that applies to your manufacturing business.

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 Control Plans (FCPs) and Risk Management Programmes (RMPs).

General requirements & programmes

Manufacturing dairy products

If you intend to manufacture dairy products, you need to operate under a registered FCP or a registered Risk Management Programme (RMP). Click on the page Introduction to manufacturing in the left-hand menu and then Choosing a programme to find out more about these programmes.

If you have an existing FSP refer to the transition information below.

Operating under the Food Act

Rules for food businesses are changing – we're moving from the Food Act 1981 to the Food Act 2014. From 1 March 2016, all new businesses must operate under the Food Act.

Existing businesses (registered under the Food Act 1981 or Food Hygiene Regulations 1974 before 29 February 2016) will shift to the new Act between 2016 and 2019. Check the timetable to find out when your type of business has to transition.

Manufacturing for export

If you wish to export dairy products, click on Exporting dairy products in the left-hand menu or refer to the Exporting section of the website.


Manufacturing raw or unpasteurised milk products

Some unpasteurised milk products can be produced for sale in New Zealand and also imported. MPI has developed a regulatory framework to ensure these products are safe and suitable. You can find out more about this framework and the regulations by clicking on Specific milk products in the left-hand menu, then Unpasteurised milk products.

Manufacturing dairy products for animal consumption

If you manufacture dairy products for animal consumption, you meet the same requirements as products for human consumption. There are very few dedicated animal feed processors and so the production standards you follow are similar or the same.