Selling raw drinking milk to consumers

Farmers can sell raw drinking milk directly to consumers either at their farm or by home delivery. Farmers, depot operators, and transporters of raw milk need to meet certain requirements to minimise risks to public health.

Rules for producing and selling raw drinking milk

Raw drinking milk must be produced and sold under a regulated control scheme (RCS). This is to identify, monitor, evaluate, and manage the risks around producing and selling raw milk.

Producers and suppliers of raw drinking milk must follow these requirements:

Raw Milk for Sale to Consumers Regulations 2015 – NZ Legislation

Animal Products Notice: Raw Milk for Sale to Consumers [PDF, 926 KB]

Raw drinking milk producers and depot operators also need to register with the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI).

Find out how to register

Our guidance document will help farmers, depot operators, and milk transporters meet the requirements. This document includes procedures and record templates.

Guidance document: Raw milk for sale to consumers – Procedures and record templates [PDF, 446 KB]

What the requirements cover

The requirements cover the production and sale of all raw milk that:

  • has not been processed in a way that alters its quality or composition, and
  • is sold directly to consumers.

Under the requirements:

  • raw drinking milk cannot be on-sold – it can only be directly sold to the consumer
  • products made from milk produced under the RCS cannot be on-sold.

You may need a separate process for each part of your business if you sell raw milk directly to consumers and also sell:

  • processed raw milk products, or
  • raw milk to a commercial operator for further processing.

You will need to meet the different requirements for each of these situations. You may be able to combine some or all of the processes and requirements.

Requirements for products made from raw milk

There are requirements for raw milk products such as raw milk cheese. These are covered in the following notice:

Animal Products Notice: Raw Milk Products Specifications [PDF, 304 KB]

Transporting raw drinking milk

You can hire a transport operator to transport raw drinking milk to consumers or to a depot operator. They will need to meet the requirements of the RCS. You are responsible for the transport operator's actions under the RCS.

Register with MPI

You must register with MPI under the RCS if you are a:

  • farm dairy operator who produces and process raw milk for sale to consumers, and/or
  • a depot operator who stores raw milk for sale to consumers.

You will need to include with your registration application:

  • application form AP48
  • a pre-registration assessment completed by a recognised raw milk farm dairy assessor or verifier
  • a letter from a verification agency that confirms it will be providing verification services
  • application fee.

Application form AP48: Registration of a farm dairy operator or depot operator for the production and processing or storage of raw milk for sale to consumers [PDF, 885 KB]

Find a farm dairy assessor or RCS verification agency on our register

Email your application to approvals@mpi.govt.nz

Or post to:

MPI Approvals
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6140.

Farm dairy operators who also operate a depot

Some farm dairy operators are also depot operators. In this situation, pre-assessment checks and application forms are required for each depot or farm dairy address.

Background

Requirements for the sale of raw milk to consumers came into effect on 1 March 2016. Developed after public consultation, they are aimed at better managing the risks to public health while recognising consumers' demand for raw milk.

Read the Government's press release – Beehive

Public consultation outcome and background

Assessment of the effectiveness of the Raw Milk for Sale to Consumers Regulations 2015 – Technical paper [PDF, 998 KB]

Find out more

Risk management programmes (RMPs) for farm dairies

Is it safe to drink raw milk and eat raw milk products?

Registered raw milk farm dairy operators

Registered raw milk depot operators

Who to contact

If you have any questions about selling raw drinking milk to consumers, email info@mpi.govt.nz

Last reviewed: