raw milk viability for US processors
of Article: http://www.dairyreporter.com/Safety-Hygiene/IDFA-questions-raw-milk-viability-for-US-processors
By Neil Merrett, 27-May-2009
Amidst debate over allowing the sale
of raw milk in a growing number of US states, some processors remain
unconvinced that there are any potential benefits for either consumers or
manufacturers in turning away from pasteurised dairy.
In the first of a two-part report appearing over the next week,
DairyReporter.com looks at industry claims that raw milk
consumption, both alone and in finished products is not feasible in markets
like the US from either a cost or health standpoint.
New Jersey debate
The US-based International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) says that
ongoing debate in New Jersey over whether to allow sales of raw milk
products will unlikely lead to an exodus of manufacturers dropping
Earlier this month, the state of New Jersey opened up discussions
over possibly dropping a ban on the sale of raw milk products under certain
conditions as part of a Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources
The discussions are a response to some state dairy farmers looking
to add more value to their products.
However, on a wider global basis, debate is currently raging over
whether claims of potential improvements in taste and nutrition linked to
raw milk products are sidelining concerns over the possible health risks
linked to salmonella.
From the US, where raw milk policy is set at state level to Canada
and even traditionally supportive markets like France, the sale of raw milk
and its use as an ingredient continues to be a major issue for dairy
Raw milk viability
The IFDA, which serves as a lobby group for dairy manufacturers
across the US, claims that even if farmers obtain the right to sell raw
milk in the state, the segment will remain unviable for processors to
Speaking to DairyReporter.com, Allen Sayler, vice president of
regulatory affairs & international standards at the IDFA, says that
both issues of safety and cost will likely limit the market potential of
raw milk products.
“It is very unlikely that dairy processing plants in New Jersey
would be willing to share the financial liability with farmers that might
try to sell raw milk for consumption, if such a bill is passed,” he says.
Sayler suggests that with both the US Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control recommending that unpasteurised
dairy goods should not be consumed, manufacturers will be unwilling to open
themselves up to the possibility of being linked to raw milk food scare.
“When that happens, our society likes to blame someone and dairy
processing plants, knowing the risks of raw milk consumption, are not
likely to agree to be a part of that,”
In certain European markets like France, long standing tradition
dictates that raw milk products, which must comply to certain safety
criteria, must be used to meet certain quality hallmarks. Nonetheless, even
this practice has developed criticism from some corners in the region.
In the second part of this report to be published next week,
DairyReporter.com will look at the growing divide between larger process
groups and smaller ‘artisan’ producers round the world over the prospects
for raw milk and unpasteurised cheeses.