Selling raw drinking milk to consumers

Farmers can directly sell raw drinking milk to consumers, either at their farm or via home deliveries, provided they meet certain requirements.


The requirements for producers and suppliers of raw drinking milk aim to minimise the risks to public health, while recognising the demand among urban and rural consumers.

The requirements are set out in the Raw Milk for Sale to Consumers Regulations 2015. Technical specifications for the regulations are described in the Animal Products Notice: Raw Milk for Sale to Consumers

Businesses producing or supplying raw drinking milk must be familiar with both the regulations and the notice, because requirements of the scheme that are set out in regulations are generally not repeated in the notice:

MPI has also developed guidance to help operators with the required procedures and record templates:

The Government has undertaken to review the raw milk policy in November 2018, two years after its full implementation, to ensure it is working effectively.

Raw drinking milk safety for consumers

Find out what consumers need to do to manage the health risks associated with raw drinking milk:

Registration for farmers

New raw drinking milk producers need to register with MPI under the Regulated Control Scheme (RCS). Complete the form to apply for registration:

You also need to provide:

  • a pre-assessment report by a raw milk farm dairy assessor
  • a letter from a verification agency confirming that it will be providing verification services.

Contact a farm dairy assessment organisation and contract an assessor to complete the pre-assessment check and routine assessments. The assessor needs to assess the farm dairy's water supply and the health of the dairy herd and complete these forms:

Contact MPI for a list of farm dairy assessment organisations:

Find a verification agency:

If you want to transport raw drinking milk to consumers or to a registered depot operator, you need to contract a transport operator who meets the requirements of the RCS. You are responsible for the transport operator's actions under the RCS. Alternatively, if you want to transport the raw milk yourself, you need to make sure you comply with the RCS requirements. 

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

For more information about registering under the raw milk RCS, contact MPI:

See the list of farm dairy operators registered to sell raw drinking milk for consumption:

Registration for depots

Depot operators can register with MPI under the RCS. 

Complete the form to apply for registration:

You also need to provide:

  • a pre-assessment report by a raw milk farm dairy assessor
  • a letter from a verification agency confirming it will be providing verification services.

Contact a farm dairy assessment organisation and contract an assessor to complete the pre-assessment check and routine assessments.

Contact MPI for a list of farm dairy assessment organisations:

Find a verification agency:

For more information about registering under the raw milk RCS, contact MPI:

See the list of depot operators registered to sell raw milk for consumption:

Fees and charges

Raw drinking milk producers need to meet specific food safety requirements to ensure any risks associated with raw drinking milk are managed as much as possible. MPI provides essential regulatory and verification services to help your business ensure it is meeting all the requirements. MPI charges fees to recover the costs of providing these services.

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

  • registration with MPI
  • programme charges – an annual levy to cover the development and maintenance of New Zealand Standards, performance monitoring and administering the National Chemical Contaminant Programme
  • verification services.

What the requirements cover

The 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 raw milk 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 (RCS) to be on-sold.

The requirements do not cover the sale of raw milk products such as raw milk cheese. Read the requirements for selling raw milk products:

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). 

Learn about the requirements for selling milk for further processing:

Previous policy on sale of raw drinking milk to consumers

The previous law restricting sales of raw milk to farms, with a limit of five litres per person, did not adequately regulate the production, supply and sale of raw milk. A number of issues arose that the law hadn't anticipated, such as collection points.

MPI conducted extensive public consultation on a new raw milk policy in 2011 and 2014.

Read the 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:

MPI engaged with sellers of raw milk about the technical details of the proposed new requirements in a series of workshops, to ensure they could be practically implemented.

In February 2016, MPI carried out targeted consultation on the Animal Products Notice: Raw Milk for Sale to Consumers.

Read the analysis of submissions for the consultation:

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