New requirements for the sale and production of raw milk

The new regulations have been developed to help control the health risks associated with consumption of raw milk.

From 1 March 2016, raw milk can be sold directly from the farmer to consumers either at the farm or via home deliveries provided suppliers meet the new requirements. These requirements aim to better manage the risks to public health, while recognising the demand for raw milk among urban and rural consumers.

The requirements that raw milk producers and suppliers will have to meet are set out in the Raw Milk for Sale to Consumers Regulations 2015, and technical specifications for the regulations are set out in the Animal Products Notice: Raw Milk for Sale to Consumers (PDF, 1 MB). In order for businesses to understand all the requirements of the regulated control scheme, it is essential to be familiar with both the Regulations and this Notice. Requirements of the scheme that are set out in Regulations are generally not repeated in this Notice.

MPI is currently in the process of developing a guidance document to assist operators with complying with the requirements. An interim guideline has been developed that contains ‘procedures and record templates’ to assist you with your pre-registration assessment and for operating under the RCS. MPI will release a further final version later in the year containing additional information. The interim guideline can be downloaded below:

Raw Milk for Sale to Consumers - Procedures and Record Templates (PDF)

Information for consumers can be found here: Raw milk - MPI website

Registration for farmers

New raw milk producers will be able to apply for registration with MPI under the Regulated Control Scheme from the 1st of March 2016. Existing raw milk producers will have until 31st of October 2016 to comply with the new requirements. If an existing raw milk producer applies for registration under the Regulated Control Scheme by the 1st of September 2016, MPI will take all reasonable steps to ensure the application of registration will go through before the 1st of November 2016.

In order to apply for registration, raw milk producers will need to have a pre-assessment report completed by a raw milk farm dairy assessor. They will also need to fill out the application form and provide any accompanying documentation and payment of fees required.

Raw milk producers will need to obtain a letter from a verification agency confirming provision of verification services. A list of verification agencies and contact details are available: Dairy recognised agencies

Raw milk producers will need to contact a farm dairy assessment organisation and contract a farm dairy assessor to complete their pre-assessment check, and complete routine farm dairy assessments.

For a list of farm dairy assessment organisations, email info@mpi.govt.nz.

Raw milk producers wanting to transport raw milk to the consumer or to a registered depot operator will need to contract a transport operator (or can do the transporting themselves), who will need to comply with the requirements of the Regulated Control Scheme. The farm dairy operator will be responsible for the transport operators actions under the Regulated Control Scheme.

If you are both a farm dairy operator and a depot operator, you will need to complete a pre-assessment check and a separate application form for each depot or farm dairy address.

For more information on registering with MPI under the raw milk Regulated Control Scheme, please contact approvals@mpi.govt.nz.

Registration for depots

Depot operators are able to register with MPI under the Regulated Control Scheme from the 1st of March 2016. If an existing depot operator applies for registration under the Regulated Control Scheme by the 1st of September 2016, MPI will take all reasonable steps to ensure the application of registration will go through before the 1st of November 2016.

In order to apply for registration, depot operators will need to have a pre-assessment report completed and by a recognised verifier, will need to fill out the application form and provide any accompanying documentation and payment of fees required.

Depot operators will need to obtain a letter from a verification agency confirming provision of verification services. A list of verification agencies and contact details are available: Dairy recognised agencies

For more information on registering with MPI under the raw milk Regulated Control Scheme, please contact approvals@mpi.govt.nz.

Implementation workshops

MPI will hold implementation workshops at selected locations around the country mid-year. Some guidance will be available before the workshops.

Policy

Previously, the law restricted sales of raw milk to the farm, with a limit of five litres per person. The previous raw milk policy did not adequately regulate the production, supply, and sale of raw milk and led to a number of issues that the law never anticipated, such as collection points.

MPI conducted extensive public consultation on raw milk policy in 2011 and 2014. A summary and analysis of the submissions MPI received during the consultation period and a report on a 2014 survey of buying, selling and consuming raw milk can be found here:

After announcing the raw milk policy and during the drafting of the regulations, MPI engaged with sellers of raw milk on the technical details of these requirements in a series of workshops to ensure they can be practically implemented.

The Government has undertaken to review this raw milk policy two years after full implementation (November 2018) to ensure that it works effectively in practice.

Read the Minister’s press release: Government decision made on raw milk

What is covered by the requirements?

In February 2016, MPI carried out targeted consultation on the Animal Products Notice: Raw Milk for Sale to Consumers. The Analysis of submissions for this consultation can be found here:

These requirements cover the production and sale of all raw milk that is sold directly to consumers and is not subject to processing that alters its quality or composition. This may be for the consumer to drink or to make their own raw milk products, such as cheese or kefir. These requirements do not allow for raw drinking milk or products made from milk produced under the Regulated Control Scheme to be on sold.

The requirements do not cover the sale of raw milk products, e.g. raw milk cheese. Requirements for selling raw milk products can be found here:

If you also sell processed raw milk products or you sell raw milk for further processing by a commercial operator, you may need to have a separate process for both parts of your business and meet the different requirements for each (although, some businesses may be able to partially or completely combine separate processes and requirements). The requirements for selling milk for further processing can be found here:

Fees and Charges

Raw milk producers need to meet specific food safety requirements to ensure any risks associated with raw milk are managed as much as possible. To do this, MPI will need to provide essential regulatory and verification services to help your business ensure it is meeting all the necessary requirements. MPI will be charging fees to recover the costs of providing these services.

Producers who want to sell raw milk to consumers will need to pay for:

  1. Registering with MPI.
  2. Programme charges: An annual levy that covers the development and maintenance of New Zealand standards, performance monitoring, and the administration of the National Chemical Contaminant Programme.
  3. Verification services.

In January 2016, MPI consulted on ways to recover costs for our services. As a result of the consultation, the below charges will come into force on 1 July 2016.

Service

Who this service applies to

Fee (excluding GST)

Registration (and renewals) of businesses required to operate under a regulated control scheme

Suppliers
Depot operators

$155 per hour (with registrations expected to take 2 hours)

MPI verification services 

Suppliers
Transporters
Depot operators

$165 per hour

Programme Charges)

Suppliers

$581.25 per year.

Read more about the consultation for fees and charges

Programme charges from 1 November 2016 – 1 July 2017

For all producers:

From 1 November 2016 MPI will be charging producers and suppliers a reduced fee of $435.00 for programme charges during transition and the first year of operation. As the transition period does not end till 1 November 2016, the amount of $435.00 reflects three quarters of the regulated levy of $581.25. From 1 July 2017 onwards, all raw milk producers who are selling raw milk to consumers will be charged the annual levy of $581.25.

If you are a current registered dairy processor:

  • Small dairy processors who have already paid their annual levy ($465.00) for the 2016/2017 year and who are planning to transition to the regulated control scheme for raw milk will not need to pay the raw milk levy of ($435.00) in the 2016/2017 year.
  • Producers and suppliers who operate both as small dairy processors and who sell raw milk directly to consumers, and have not paid their annual levy yet will be charged $435.00 for the 2016/2017 year.
  • Producers and suppliers under a dairy processors farm dairy risk management programme, for example Fonterra or Westland, and who retain some raw milk to sell to consumers will be charged the annual levy of 435.00 in the 2016/2017 year.
  • All raw milk producers will be charged $581.25 per year from 1 July 2017.