Dairy Australia - Dairy information for Australian Dairy Farmers and the industry

Primary content

We work with agencies at the federal and state level, dairy farmers and companies to create the National Dairy Food Safety Regulatory Framework. Based on international codes and standards this framework requires that all across the supply chain take responsibility for food safety.

  • Copy Link Distribution regulation

    Distribution regulation

    Prior to despatch to customers, finished product is stored in warehouses operated by the dairy company or by external contractors.

    The effective implementation of a Food Safety Program (FSP) is required for all warehouses that are licensed by State Dairy Food Authorities (SDFAs). Warehouses used for export product need to be registered by the Department of Agriculture (DoA).

    Key elements of the FSP are:

    • prevention or control of potential hazards to food safety
    • identification and thus traceability of product.

    In addition the warehouse must have a Product Recall system based upon the FSANZ Food Industry Recall Protocol.

    Prior to loading of product, the cleanliness of the interior of transport vehicles and shipping containers is checked. Where required, product temperature is checked at loading and monitored throughout the distribution chain.

    Transporters of bulk product between dairy manufacturing plants intended for further processing are required to have a FSP conforming to the requirements of FSC Standard 4.2.4.

    Containers destined for export are sealed and appropriate documentation is completed prior to shipping. Companies use the DoA ExDoc electronic system for certification of dairy exports.

    Auditors approved by regulatory agencies including DoA conduct audits of the warehouse FSP. Australian and international customers also conduct audits on all or part of a warehouse'™s quality assurance program.

  • Copy Link Farm regulation

    Farm regulation

    All Australian dairy farms are required to have documented food safety programs (FSP) State Dairy Food Authorities (SDFAs) approve the FSP before a dairy farm licence is granted. Approved auditors conduct regular audits of the farm FSP.

    Core elements of the FSP include:

    • Control of contaminants physical, chemical and microbiological
    • Dairy milking premises
    • Hygienic milking
    • Water supply and quality
    • Cleaning and sanitising
    • Traceability and records
    • Personnel competency

    All animals are individually identified from birth to death. Farmers actively monitor the health and well being of animals with the assistance of registered veterinarians.

    Vendor declarations are required for animals and stockfeed purchased from external sources.

    Risks from agricultural, veterinary and cleaning chemicals are minimised by using only chemicals registered by Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA). Instructions for use and withholding periods for milk and meat are described on the label.

    Trained operators use clean and sanitised equipment to milk cows with minimal stress. Water used for cleaning is monitored to ensure it will not contaminate the milk. Milk is cooled promptly and stored until collection under temperatures to minimise the growth of microbial hazards.

    Comprehensive records are maintained of key parts of the farm food safety program including use of chemicals, audit results and action taken if deviations are detected.

  • Copy Link Manufacture regulation

    Manufacture regulation

    Manufacture process

    Once delivered to the manufacturer, milk is processed in modern and automated factories using responsible environmental practices. The relevant State Dairy Food Authority licenses all dairy factories while factories manufacturing product for export also require Department of Agriculture (DoA) registration. An approved Food Safety Program (FSP) is required prior to licensing.

    Core elements of the FSP include:

    • pathogen reduction technologies including pasteurisation
    • temperature controls
    • processing
    • cleaning and sanitising
    • storage
    • traceability forwards and backwards through the supply chain from farm to customer
    • post-pasteurisation hazard management
    • raw material and ingredient management
    • records and
    • personnel competency

    Product specifications reflect compliance with customer requirements, regulatory requirements within the FSANZ Food Standards Code and in the case of exports, the requirements of DoA and the importing country.

    All suppliers of ingredients, cleaning chemicals, packaging and services work with dairy companies to ensure their materials and services meet specific requirements, especially with regard to the traceability of ingredients and materials.

    All dairy manufacturers have Product Recall systems based upon the FSANZ Product Recall Protocol.

    Auditors approved by regulatory agencies including DoA audit all FSP. In addition, State Dairy Food Authorities monitor the safety of milk and dairy products through investigations such as the Australian Milk Residue Analysis Survey.

  • Copy Link Markets


    The relationship between Australian dairy companies and their domestic and international markets has been developed over years through close communication with customers and consistent delivery of safe quality dairy products.

    Retail or ingredient customers within Australia and overseas apply rigorous buying specifications. Typical buying specifications include product specification, transport conditions and the buyers expectations of the quality assurance approach.

    Competent authorities within Federal and State regulatory agencies underpin the national approach to food safety and quality.

    The Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Food Standards Code covers all food products either manufactured within Australia or imported. All manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and importers of food are required to have in place a written recall plan modelled upon the FSANZ Product Recall Protocol.

    Under Australias export legislation and importing country requirements, the Department of Agriculture (DoA) is the competent authority for export inspection and certification. Export regulations cover many requirements including the importing country™s food safety requirements, product standards, biosecurity, quarantine standards and traceability.

    Ongoing discussions occur between DoA, federal and state regulators as well as industry to ensure maximum harmonisation of export and domestic requirements. Industry and regulators have established a valuable co-regulatory approach

  • Copy Link Overview

    Regulatory overview

    The national Australian dairy food safety regulatory framework is an integrated preventative system developed by industry organisations and federal and state regulatory agencies. Internationally recognised Codes and Standards provide important guidelines for the framework.

    Customer requirements, food safety and product traceability are paramount drivers for the quality systems along with animal welfare, bio-security and environmental sustainability.

    The responsibilities and accountabilities of all industry members through the supply chain are incorporated into the food safety and quality systems.

    Potential risks are monitored on an ongoing basis with industry updated on a regular basis of possible challenges. Quality science supports the risk management process. The industry approach is preventative and outcomes based rather than process driven.

    Federal agencies develop policy and standards, while state government regulators enforce, verify and monitor or conduct surveillance of food standards.

    The Food Standards Code, and particularly Standard 4.2.4 - The Primary Production and Processing Standards for Dairy Products, the Export Control Act 1982, the Export Control (Prescribed Goods“ General) Order 2005 and Export Control (Milk and Milk Products) Orders 2005 are important regulations for the Australian dairy industry.

    Key federal agencies

    Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)
    Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA)
    Department of Agriculture (DoA)
    Animal Health Australia

    Key state government regulators

    State Dairy Food Authorities State Departments of Primary Industries
    Dairy Food Safety Victoria Department of Primary Industries Victoria
    NSW Food Authority NSW Department of Primary Industries
    Safe Food Queensland QLD Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
    Tasmanian Dairy Industry Authority Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water &
    Environment Tasmania
    Dairy Authority of South Australia Department of Primary Industry and Resources SA
    WA Department of Health Food Unit  Department of Agriculture and Food WA
    Environmental Protection Authorities  State Departments of Health
    EPA Victoria Department of Health Victoria
    EPA New South Wales Department of Health NSW
    EPA Queensland Department of Health Queensland
    EPA Tasmania Department of Health Tasmania
    EPA South Australia Department of Health South Australia
    EPA Western Australia Department of Health Western Australia

    Important regulations for the Australian dairy industry

    The Food Standards Code
    Export Control Act 1982
    Export Control (Prescribed Goods - General) Order 2005
    Export Control (Milk and Milk Products) Order 2005

  • Copy Link Pre farm regulation

    Pre-farm regulation

    Potential risks to food safety and product integrity from initial inputs such as feed, livestock, fertilisers, water and chemicals are assessed by government and national industry agencies on an ongoing basis.

    The Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) determines the types of chemicals that can be used for the production of stockfeed and veterinary chemicals used for treatment of animals plus the recommended withholding periods after treatment.

    Vendor declarations providing background information must be supplied with stockfeed consignments and animals sourced from on off farm.

    Stockfeed and grains industries have HACCP based accredited QA programs to ensure the feed is safe for use by dairy animals.

    Electronic ear tags used to identify all animals on the farm provide a key tool for traceability of animals from birth to death or slaughter. The National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) provides the framework for the identification of Australian livestock.

    State legislation ensures that fertilisers are appropriately labelled and maximum limits are set for elements that may pose a risk to agriculture.

    Farm Food Safety programs must ensure water supplies are suitable to protect animal health and prevent contamination of milk.

    Environmental Protection Authorities (EPAs) regulate the disposal of farm effluent on farm.

  • Copy Link Transport regulation

    Transport regulation

    All milk transport operators must have a documented Food Safety Program (FSP) approved by State Dairy Food Authorities (SDFAs). Core elements of the FSP include:

    • control of food safety hazards during collection and transport from equipment, vehicles, containers and personnel
    • product traceability
    • time & temperature controls
    • personnel skills and knowledge

    The temperature and time of transport must be managed to minimise food safety risks.

    In peak season, collection usually occurs daily. When production declines, milk collections may reduce to a SDFA approved frequency

    Prior to milk collection at the farm, tanker drivers sample milk for testing by the company. Typical tests include fat, protein, somatic cell count, microbiological quality and antibiotic residues. The results of the tests are provided to the farmer and used as a basis for payment. If an abnormal result is detected, the farmer is promptly notified of the result and appropriate action is taken.

    On arrival at the factory, the manufacturer may sample the milk for further testing.

    Tankers are cleaned using Cleaning in Place (CIP) systems with approved chemicals and potable water.

    Information on the origin of and destination of milk supplies is recorded to ensure traceability from farm to manufacturer and from manufacturer to farm.


Our Farm, Our Plan

Our Farm, Our Plan is a new program designed to equip farmers to clarify their long term goals, identify the actions needed and to manage uncertainty and risk.

Hay and grain reports

The hay and grain report is commissioned by Dairy Australia to provide an independent and timely assessment of hay and grain markets in each dairying region. The report is updated 40 weeks per year.

More Initiatives