‘Rules, rules, rules and pa­per trails’

Wairarapa News - - FRONT PAGE - ILLYA MCLEL­LAN

‘‘They're tak­ing com­mon­sense away by reg­u­la­tion, I'm sick and tired of be­ing told what I can and can't do’’

The ‘‘rules, rules, rules and pa­per trails’’ in­volved with test­ing and reg­u­la­tion will force a popular raw milk ven­dor to close just eight months after open­ing.

Cus­tomers rang­ing from older peo­ple look­ing for a nos­tal­gic hit to younger peo­ple who can’t be­lieve how dif­fer­ent raw milk tastes, buy about 100 litres a day from a vend­ing ma­chine near Carter­ton.

Sadly for th­ese peo­ple the ser­vice will close on Fri­day, Septem­ber 22.

Op­er­a­tors Re­nee and Dave Smith said the amount of reg­u­la­tion and test­ing needed made it un­fea­si­ble to con­tinue pro­vid­ing the raw prod­uct.

Re­nee Smith said there was an up­date of reg­u­la­tions and guide­lines around raw milk pro­duc­tion just be­fore they started their op­er­a­tion in Jan­uary but they thought they would be fine cop­ing with the rule changes.

But the pa­per­work and ex­pense in­volved, when added to their stan­dard dairy­ing op­er­a­tion, ended up tak­ing a toll on their qual­ity of life.

They soon found they were miss­ing out on time with their chil­dren and also some­times not even able to get a day off, she said.

‘‘It got to the point we were do­ing far more work on it than it was worth. We just wanted to give peo­ple a choice but it ended up be­com­ing too dif­fi­cult. We are as sad about hav­ing to close it as ev­ery­one else.

‘‘The costs got higher as well. I re­ceived a $1000 bill to­day that I wasn’t ex­pect­ing, every­thing has come to rules, rules, rules and pa­per trails.’’

Cus­tomer Jim Up­ward was sad to hear the news be­cause since the raw milk ven­dor had opened he had be­come used to hav­ing proper milk again.

Milk pro­cessed in fac­to­ries was put through pro­cesses that com­pletely changed it from what it was when it came out of the cow, he said.

‘‘They’re tak­ing com­mon­sense away by reg­u­la­tion, I’m sick and tired of be­ing told what I can and can’t do. This was in­no­va­tive, and gave peo­ple a choice. I con­grat­u­lated them when they started it off, re­ally dis­ap­pointed.’’

A Min­istry of Pri­mary In­dus­tries spokes­woman said the reg­u­la­tions were to bet­ter man­age the health risks of raw milk.

ILLYA MCLEL­LAN/STUFF

Re­nee Smith said run­ning the raw milk vend­ing ma­chine be­came too time con­sum­ing and costly.

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