13 Jul 2009

NZ raw-milk cheese production should be allowed - minister

3:22 pm on 13 July 2009

Food Safety Minister Kate Wilkinson says it is time the New Zealand market was opened for local producers to make cheeses from unpasteurised milk.

Ms Wilkinson says none of the 13 submissions to the Food Safety Authority, which is considering the issue, oppose the principle of allowing a wider range of imported and locally made unpasteurised milk cheeses to be sold in New Zealand.

She says raw-milk cheeses such as emmental and rocquefort are imported already, and it is time the New Zealand market was opened up for its own producers, as long as the integrity of the food safety system is maintained.

Ms Wilkinson says the Food Safety Authority will brief her early next month and she aims to issue draft standards in September.