The Dairy Industry Restructuring Act (DIRA) appears to be preventing Fonterra from effectively managing some aspects of its farmers’ environmental performance, says a discussion document from MPI.
In such cases the milk cooling performance checks must be repeated to confirm compliance with the milk cooling requirements.
Milk not cooled as the rules require must be withheld from supply, unless it has been assessed and confirmed as fit for intended purpose by the RMP (risk management) operator or dairy company via measures such as sensory evaluation, microbiological testing, titratable acidity or a validated risk assessment model.
Note that a farmer thinking about upgrading equipment to deal with repeat failures to cool milk as required should consult a farm dairy assessor or dairy company before going ahead on the upgrade.
Where an electronic monitoring system is installed, that system must be capable of holding data about the delivery line and bulk milk tank temperature for at least 30 days (this applies to milk and CIP solutions).
Disposal of milk
A procedure must be in place for the disposal of milk.
For a variety of reasons RMP operators may not always be able to collect milk. Milk may also be rejected by the RMP operator for any of the reasons specified in the regulations.
Farmers can face prosecution, under the Resource Management Act 1991, if they discharge milk directly into water or if they allow milk to flow into water.
Milk is a potent pollutant -- 1000 times more potent than farm dairy effluent. So its intrusion into waterways will have a serious impact.
Contact the RMP operator if a major disruption occurs, as they will have contingency plans. Possible methods for disposing of milk onfarm are: discharge into effluent ponds, waste ponds, or trenches; spray irrigation; discharge to a sacrifice area; and feeding it to livestock.
Farmers should check with their regional authority before disposing of milk onto land.