Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Campaign: The Campaign For Raw Milk

Spending a number of weeks baking with and drinking raw milk, I am very saddened to learn that the Irish government are proposing to ban the sale of raw milk in Ireland. On the back of this proposed ban, the campaign for Raw Milk was established under the formation of farmers, food sellers, food organisations, chefs and consumers- who collectively established a committee for the campaign for raw milk in Ireland. The common aim is to represent the rights of producers and consumers to purchase raw milk- in short the campaign is for the freedom of choice to purchase raw milk in Ireland.

The desired outcome is that regulations on the sale of raw liquid milk in Ireland are introduced. The aim of this is to allow consumers the freedom to make an informed choice while also minimising and managing potential risks. 

The campaign for raw milk has five suggestions going forward:

  • A working group is set up comprising of representatives of the Department of Health, the Department of Agriculture and the FSAI along with industry representatives.
  • The group is given a fixed period of time to agree: regulations, a code of best practise and labelling requirements which would minimise the public health risks from the sale of raw milk but would also allow for consumer choice.
  • During this period only licensed dairies that are approved to process milk for use in the production of raw milk products for sale would be allowed to sell raw liquid milk.
  • Interim labeling requirements would be introduced immediately.
  • At the end of this period the Minister for Agriculture and Minister for Health would be in a better position to make an informed decision based on the alternative option of regulated sales versus an outright ban.

Elisabeth Ryan, of the Sheridans Cheesemongers has updated me to say that they are still awaiting the recommendation from the joint Oireachtas committee after their presentation in October 2011 and remain hopeful of a favourable recommendation.

In the meantime, if you wish to support the campaign, you can do so by clicking the following link:

Here is a very interesting article published recently in The Guardian:

I hope you join me in getting behind this campaign.