A small-scale cheese maker is hauling her raw milk cheese to Parliament.
Katikati’s Mount Eliza Cheese owner Jill Whalley says New Zealand artisan producers of raw milk cheese find high compliance costs crippling – about $60 a kilo.
That makes European products cheaper to import and it’s not fair, she says.
The Food and Safety Reform Bill is currently under consideration by a select committee.
“We want a level playing field,” says Whalley.
She believes it’s prohibitive to a thriving artisan cheese industry.
“If they took the same approach to road safety as they do to food safety, we would all have to drive at three miles per hour, with a person in front waving a red flag.”
Whalley argues pastuerisation destroys the milk’s good bacteria which protects the cheese from harmful bacteria.
Small cheese makers have greater control over hygiene and other variables and can prevent it from happening, Whalley says.
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