A GROUP of dairy farmers who produce and sell unpasteurised milk to consumers formally launched a Raw Milk Producers Association at the start of this month.

The Food Standards Agency has reportedly been planning to tighten controls around the sale of raw milk, prompting the producers to collaborate to speak as one to the FSA, and ensure any new controls are 'proportionate and supportive'.

The new RMPA said that UK raw milk sales have soared in recent years. But whilst licensed farm-gate sales of raw milk are perfectly legal, there is very little in the way of official guidance or support for producers in terms of production standards, hygiene or microbiological testing.

“We are keen to maintain a strong relationship with the FSA,” says RMPA chair Jonny Crickmore. “The organisation strongly believes it is mutually educational and beneficial that raw milk producers, consumers and the government work together to bring better support and regulation.”

The stated aims of the RMPA are to:

  • Bring together raw milk producers, and provide networking and training opportunities;
  • Provide official government-endorsed guidance to producers on production standards and hygiene;
  • Provide a liaison service between raw milk producers and the government;
  • Provide an online forum in which producers can share knowledge, experiences and support.

Any raw milk producer in the UK can join, or a membership subscription of £100 per year.There is more information on the RMPA website at www.rawmilkproducers.co.uk