Farm gate raw milk sales to continue

  • Kate Wilkinson
Food Safety

Farm gate sales of raw milk will continue and the amount that can be purchased is likely to increase, Food Safety Minister Kate Wilkinson said today.

Farmers will also be exempt from the current requirement to have a costly Risk Management Programme for farm gate sales of raw milk and will instead need to adhere to certain animal health and hygiene requirements.

“The current Food Act allows people to buy only up to five litres of raw milk at the farm gate to drink themselves or give to their family,” Ms Wilkinson says.

Consultation carried out by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) on possible changes to rules for raw drinking milk sales attracted nearly 1700 submissions.

“Most submitters not only want farm gate sales to continue, but for the maximum amount to be increased, and for raw milk sales to also be available off the farm,” Ms Wilkinson says.

“This Government is committed to continuing raw milk sales. Following the consultation process, I have asked MPI to undertake further policy work including scientific risk analysis to investigate:

  • increasing the daily farm gate limit
  • the necessity or otherwise of a maximum daily distribution limit for farmers
  • managing the sale of raw milk outside of the farm in a way that balances public health with consumer choice
  • ensuring consumers are informed on the risks associated with raw milk when they purchase it to enable an informed choice.

“Once this advice has been received the Ministry for Primary Industries will undertake further consultation. This will inform the final decisions and the development of new regulations.”

A summary of the submissions can be found here: