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 people transporting raw milk need to meet certain requirements to minimise any risks to public health.

The requirements

Requirements for the sale of raw milk to consumers came into effect on 1 March 2016. They were developed after public consultation, and are aimed at better managing the risks to public health while recognising the consumers demand for raw milk. There was a transition period for existing producers up until 1 November 2016.

Then Minister for Food Safety, Jo Goodhew announced the Government's decision on 18 June 2015.

Public consultation outcome and background

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


Producers and suppliers of raw drinking milk must follow the requirements set out in 2 documents. The first is regulations that set out the requirements of the scheme. The second is an animal products notice that describes technical specifications.

Raw Milk for Sale to Consumers Regulations 2015

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

Anyone producing or supplying raw drinking milk must understand both of these documents. Together, the regulations and notice aim to minimise any risks to public health.

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

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:

  • is not subject to processing that alters its quality or composition, and
  • is sold directly to consumers.

Under the requirements:

  • raw drinking milk cannot be on-sold
  • products made from milk produced under the Regulated Control Scheme (RCS) cannot be on-sold.

The requirements do not cover the sale of 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]

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.

Registration for farmers

Producers of raw drinking milk need to register with MPI under the RCS. This is a 3-step process.

Step 1: Complete the registration form.

AP48: Registration for the production and processing or storage of raw milk for sale to consumers [PDF, 647 KB]

Step 2: Provide a pre-assessment report by a raw milk farm dairy assessor.

Hire a farm dairy assessment organisation to complete:

The assessor needs to assess the farm dairy's water supply and the health of the dairy herd, and complete 2 forms:

DPF-202: Assessment of RCS Farm Dairy Water Status Form [PDF, 459 KB]

DPF-205: Veterinary RCS Herd Health Form [PDF, 106 KB]

We can give you a list of farm dairy assessment organisations in your area. Email info@mpi.govt.nz

Step 3: Provide a letter from a verification agency confirming that it will be providing verification services.

If you do not already work with a verification agency, you can find one on this list:

Dairy recognised agencies [PDF, 121 KB]

Email MPI for more information about registering under the raw milk RCS: approvals@mpi.govt.nz

If you want to transport raw drinking milk

If you want to transport raw drinking milk to consumers or to a depot operator you can:

  • hire a transport operator
  • transport it yourself.

If you hire a transport operator they will need to meet the requirements of the RCS. You are responsible for the transport operator's actions under the RCS.

If you transport the raw milk yourself, you need to make sure you comply with the RCS requirements.

Registration for depots

Raw drinking milk depot operators need to register with MPI under the RCS. This is a 3-step process.

Step 1: Complete the registration form.

AP48: Registration for the production and processing or storage of raw milk for sale to consumers [PDF, 647 KB]

Step 2: Provide a pre-assessment report by a raw milk farm dairy assessor.

Hire a farm dairy assessment organisation to complete:

  • a pre-assessment check, and
  • routine assessments.

We can give you a list of farm dairy assessment organisations in your area. Email info@mpi.govt.nz

Step 3: Provide a letter from a verification agency confirming that it will be providing verification services.

If you do not already work with a verification agency, you can find one on this list:

Dairy recognised agencies [PDF, 121 KB]

Email MPI for more information about registering under the raw milk RCS: approvals@mpi.govt.nz

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.

Fees and charges

MPI provides regulatory and verification services to help businesses ensure they:

  • meet food safety requirements, and
  • manage any risks associated with raw drinking milk.

MPI charges fees to recover the costs of providing these services.

Service

Who this service applies to

Fee (excluding GST)

Verification services

Suppliers, transporters, depot operators

$165 per hour

Registration (and renewal) of businesses operating under an RCS

Suppliers, depot operators

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

Programme charges

Suppliers

$581.25 per year

Programme charges pay for:

  • the development and maintenance of New Zealand Standards
  • performance monitoring, and
  • administering the National Chemical Contaminant Programme.

Producers who operate as both a raw drinking milk producer and a small dairy producer, or producers who also supply dairy processors, will be charged $581.25 per year.

Further information

Further information for consumers

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

Is raw milk safe?

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

Registered raw milk farm dairy operators

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

Registered raw milk depot operators

Further information for farm dairy operators and milk depot operators

Learn about the requirements for selling milk for further processing.

Risk management programmes (RMPs) for farm dairies

Last reviewed: