OPINION: The decision by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to impose an immediate halt to live animal exports in the wake the sinking of the Gulf Livestock 1 off the coast of Japan is a sensible move.
Richard Houston, managing director of Takaka-based Village Milk, otherwise welcomes MPI's crackdown on unlicensed raw milk suppliers.
Raw milk suppliers can only sell direct to their customers, either at the farm gate – often through automated on-farm vending machines — or by home delivery. It cannot be sold at another location.
“Current legislation’s pretty tight on distribution,” said Houston.
“They consider the milk to be a really high risk but we’ve been running seven years now and we’ve never been faulted.
“We’ve got a really good procedure we follow every day, we test regularly and we’ve got great animals and a beautiful little farm.”
Houston said Village Milk is sold at the farm in reusable glass bottles, which his customers were managing “really well”.
“It would be great to be able to take the milk a bit closer to the people. Not everyone can drive to the farm.”
Houston said raw milk is fantastic as a whole food.
“The legislation’s there. The milk’s safe.”