Selling Raw Milk
Selling raw milk is now legal in Ireland and for sellers/retailers, the same laws governing the same of any foodstuffs now apply. We advise that you ensure the milk is from a reputable local farm and that you ensure it is labelled, stored and segregated appropriately to ensure that consumers have all the relevant information at point of purchase.
Farmers wishing to sell any quantity of raw milk in excess of 30 litres per week should register with the Department of Agriculture, more details below...
More info for Farmers and Producers
The registration process is simple and the form can be downloaded from the DAFM Website Milk Hygiene Section
(scroll to documents under the header "Trader Notices" and you'll see "Registration Form for the Supply of Raw Milk...")
Here is a copy of the same form:
RegistrationApplicationFormSuppliersRaw Milk090816 as of August 2016, but please check the official website in case of any updates since we posted this.
Currently the regulations in place for the sale of raw milk are governed by the same regulations as were already laid out in the general EU Food & Feed Hygiene Regulations of 2004, which have applied to all dairy farmers selling milk since their introduction to law in Ireland in 2006.The main extra requirements for raw milk production within these regulations are twice yearly herd tests for TB and stricter criteria for Somatic Cell Count and Total Bacteria Count.
The label must also state clearly that it is Raw Milk
These specifics have been in place for any farmer selling raw milk for cheese for example for some time, and will now also apply to those selling liquid raw milk for direct human consumption.
You can read the full regulation documents below:
Regulation 852/2004 The Hygiene of Foodstuffs
This is a more general set of regulations which applies to all food business operators selling food stuffs
Regulation 853/2004 Laying down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin
This is the more specific regulation applying to those selling foodstuffs of animal origin, such as milk, and is the document which lays out the specific criteria for raw milk.
We also have available an edited document showing just the parts of the regulation pertaining to raw milk, but please note that this is not a legal document and is intended to be a helpful summary. You can view this summary here: RMI - Summary & Excerpts EU Hygiene Regs
Brief Background on the Legality of Selling Raw Milk for Direct Human Consumption:
Owing to a exemption within the EU Hygiene regulations of 2004, it has been legal for Irish farmers to sell small quantities of raw milk to local retailers or from the farm gate since 2006 (this is when these regulations came into force in the Irish Statute Book). This exemption meant that they did not need to operate under the EU regulations as laid out.
In 2011, the government indicated that they wished to correct this situation and introduce a ban. However, following several years of negotiation by members 0f Raw Milk Ireland, in 2014, they indicated that they would instead consider introducing regulations.
With the introduction of a new legal amendment in 2015 (view Statutory Instrument here) The Department of Agriculture with the collaboration of Raw Milk Ireland, sought to define the terms small and local, which allowed for this exemption.
The statutory instrument defines small quantities as 30 litres per week and local as within a radius of 20km from the farm.
To clarify this means that the exempt farmers (those producing under 30 litres per week) do not need to operate under the criteria in the EU Regualtions. But it then brings farmers producing more than this into the sphere of having to operate under the regulations.
Thus it is perfectly legal to sell raw milk, Farmers just need to register with the Department of Agriculture if they wish to do so.
Further industry led guidelines with more specific and stringent crieria for the sale of raw milk for direct human consumption have been discussed, however no definitive progress has been made on what these might contain or when they might be introduced since 2015.
Please do contact us for any further info, and if you wish to be listed in the "where to buy" section of the website.