By Pete Kennedy, Esq.
On July 19 the government in the Catalonia region of Spain made the decision to allow the direct sale of raw cow milk from producers to consumers, ending a twenty-eight-year ban on such sales.1 According to the online publication, Food Safety News, “sales can be on the producing farm, in a vending machine or at a retail establishment,”2 not elaborating on whether the farmer must have an ownership interest in the retail establishment that is selling the raw milk.
Until the announcement of the Catalonian government, Spain’s health ministry had been working towards issuing a decree legalizing raw cow milk sales in the rest of the country but due to protests from critics of raw milk, the new Socialist government in Spain has decided to suspend any move on raw milk sales until it has conducted a “full analysis of the issue….”1 Spain banned raw milk sales nationwide in 1990; Catalonia has autonomy in food safety matters so the region can legalize raw milk sales regardless of what the national government does. Spain’s UPA, the Union of Small Farmers and Cattle Ranchers, has asked for nationwide legalization.3
The Catalonian regulations contain a labeling requirement that the raw milk be labeled with an expiration date of no more than seventy-two hours after milking. Those dairy farmers wanting to sell raw milk must notify the local government agency with jurisdiction over livestock operations before beginning sales. The dairies are required to have a written program for the prevention and control of mastitis as well as a HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) plan.2
- Marianne Barriaux, “Catalonia in raw milk row as Catalan minister insists it’s as safe as ‛four-week-old chicken from the fridge’”, The Local Spain, 25 July 2018. Last viewed 9/9/2018 at https://www.thelocal.es/20180725/catalonia-in-raw-milk-controversy.
- Joe Whitworth, “Catalonia OKs sales of raw milk; all of Spain may follow suit”, Food Safety News, 27 July 2018. Last viewed 9/9/2018 at https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/07/catalonia-oks-sales-of-raw-milk-all-of-spain-may-follow-suit/.
- Redacción ECA, “UPA defends the direct sale of raw milk ‛with all the guarantees’”, Comercio Agrario, 25 July 2018. Last viewed 9/9/2018 at http://ecomercioagrario.com/en/upa-defends-the-direct-sale-of-raw-milk-with-all-the-guarantees/.
This article first appeared in the Fall 2018 issue of Wise Traditions in Food, Farming, and the Healing Arts, the Quarterly Journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation.
About the Author
Pete Kennedy is a Florida attorney who has worked on issues governing raw milk production and distribution since 2004. He compiled a summary of raw milk laws in each of the fifty states and is currently a consultant for WAPF on, among other things, policies and laws regarding raw milk. Pete was a founding board member of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) and served as vice president and then president for many years. He has consulted on and drafted raw milk, cottage foods, and food sovereignty legislation; drafted and reviewed herdshare agreements; worked on embargo, seizure, and recall cases involving raw dairy products; worked on foodborne illness outbreaks attributed to raw milk consumption; handled issues involving on-farm slaughter, custom meat, and poultry processing as well as problems with zoning and local ordinances.