Australia is currently one of only three countries globally with a blanket ban on the sale of raw cow's milk for human consumption.
All other countries allow raw milk to be supplied for human consumption, usually in conjunction with appropriate regulatory regimes that ensure the raw milk does not pose risks to the safety of those who choose to consume it. Such regulatory regimes have been introduced across Europe, England, many US states, and even in New Zealand, and have demonstrated that legislation governing the way cows are managed, and how raw milk is produced, packed, tested and transported can ensure a safe and raw product for consumers.
We believe that all Australians should have the choice to consume safe, unadulterated raw milk. We can access many raw foods, including raw meats, seafood, eggs and raw cheese. Raw cheese production was legalised in Australia early 2015. Even raw goat's milk is legal to produce in four Australian states and available from licensed producers. Yet raw cow's milk continues to be subject to prohibition, including through the 1 January 2015 introduction of regulations in Victoria that it be tainted with a gagging agent to prevent human consumption.
Many small-scale dairy farmers cannot make a living selling to the processor. Politicians need to stop the trend of family farmers going into debt or losing their farms to bank foreclosure. It is an injustice to deny farmers this profitable niche market. We want to promote social justice and dignity for those who seek food freedom, local economic development and job creation. Overseas examples show that when regulated fairly it can be viable and profitable due to high local demand.
Regulating the sale of raw milk will provide an effective avenue for small-scale farmers to access markets and sell their products directly to consumers. We ask to respect the evidence that raw milk can be a low risk and nutritious product for consumers, and to develop fair, scale appropriate regulations that allow for its production, packaging, transport and sale to consumers in Australia.
Raw milk has real value. We have well over 30 raw milk case studies that show that it is possible to do raw milk well. Some of our case studies have been producing raw milk for human consumption for more than a decade. There are two kinds of raw milk, which means there are two different kinds of systems, values, expectations and outcomes.