Sunday, December 27, 2009

State regulations govern the off-farm sale of dairy products

Dairy items have become hot commodities as farmers seek ways to increase product sales. Milk in glass containers, artisan cheeses and fresh yogurts have become products both popular with consumers and profitable. Yet connecting consumers with local dairies and dairy products is just one aspect of increasing dairy sales.

Producers must adhere to state statutes that regulate the safe and legal sale of all dairy products. In Missouri, the dairy industry is overseen by the Missouri Milk Board, a division of the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

Consumers may be most familiar with buying milk at the grocery store but off-farm sales, including home delivery, continue to increase in our state. In Missouri, raw milk and cream from cattle, sheep and goats can legally be sold off the farm. To comply with state regulations, these products must be delivered directly to a consumer and may not be sold in any retail fashion.

Dairy farmers are not allowed to sell products at farmers’ markets or in retail stores. Producers cannot legally sell butter, yogurt, cheese or ice cream without proper licensing and a permit from the Missouri State Milk Board. Obtaining this license further requires an inspection by the state governing agency. Producers can ensure their sales and production practices are in compliance with state statutes by contacting the Missouri State Milk Board at 573.751.3830.

Keep in mind that farmers who do not adhere to the state statutes regarding the safe and legal sale of dairy products put all dairy producers in our state in jeopardy.

No comments:

Post a Comment