To operate a dairy farm in Tasmania, you must hold a current dairy farmer licence, issued by the Tasmanian Dairy Industry Authority (TDIA) under the Dairy Industry Act 1994.
The Dairy Industry Act 1994 defines a dairy farmer as the owner ( or person in charge) of a premises where cows (or other non-bovine animals such as sheep or goats) are kept or milked for the purpose of producing milk for profit or sale. This includes farmers who supply milk to themselves for bottling or making into dairy products.
Dairy farmers harvest and store milk, which is a high risk product due to its ability to harbour and grow bacteria that can be harmful to human health.
To reduce or eliminate this risk, dairy farmers must develop and implement a food safety program. TDIA audit dairy premises annually to check that this program is being followed.
Dairy Farmer 6-Step Application Process
To obtain a licence from TDIA for your dairy farm, you will need to address the following requirements - this is regardless of whether you are taking over an existing farm, or converting a farm to a dairy farm:
- Contact TDIA and your local Council early to ensure your premises meet requirements - you may need to obtain planning approvals for new or modified premises.
- Contact your preferred milk supply company to ensure your premises meet their requirements.
- Develop a written food safety program that meets the requirements of the Food Standards Code to address food safety hazards associated with milk harvesting and storage. Most milk companies have developed food safety programs that are provided to their farmers, but TDIA can help if your company does not provide one for you.
- Develop an effluent management plan for your farm to ensure your operation will meet the requirements of the Farm Dairy Premises Effluent Management Code of Practice. If you are converting a new farm, the engineers who have designed your new system can do this for you, and if you are purchasing an existing farm it is wise to check that an effluent management plan exists for the premises. TDIA can help with a generic plan you can tailor for your own property.
- If you intend to supply milk to a company that will make raw milk cheese, there are some other requirements that need to be met. More information on these can be provided by TDIA.
- Lodge an application form, together with application fees, food safety program, and effluent management plan to TDIA for assessment. TDIA will assess and provide feedback where necessary. We may also inspect the premises prior to issuing the licence. Please note, it can take up to four weeks for the application review and licence approval process - make sure TDIA are aware of your plans well before you wish to begin milking.
These documents will help you with understanding your obligations as a dairy farmer
Primary Production and Processing Standard for Dairy Products - Dairy Primary Production (2Mb)
Farm Dairy Premises Effluent Management Code of Practice (544Kb)
Dairy Farmer Licence Conditions (156Kb)
Download the Dairy Farmer Licence Application Form
Dairy Farmer Application Form (642Kb)