It is of the utmost concern to us that both consumers and producers know what goes into healthy, safe milk intended for direct consumption (raw milk).
It would be tragic if all the hard work done to date on fighting pressure groups for the right to access foods of our choice should be undone by an ignorant consumer or irresponsible farmer.
We have approached the most powerful industry lobby group repeatedly, asking for their involvement in the creation of guidelines for the safe production of high-quality raw milk. To date, these requests have been ignored.
So we have created an accreditation process that will offer producers the opportunity to learn
– the biology of milk and the differences in production between milk intended for pasteurization and milk intended for direct consumption, including breeding, feeding and animal husbandry
– the crucial importance of proper hygiene in producing, processing and handling.
As well, because cowshare programmes are the one avenue that is currently available to producers and consumers in securing access to raw milk, producers learn about:
– the legal framework that currently exists around cowshare programmes and
– the development of a viable cowshare programme.
There are two separate training sessions for producers.
Following the training, each producer arranges for an independent inspection of his/her operation, to be conducted by an inspector knowledgeable in the requirements of a raw dairy operation.
Once the producer passes this inspection, he/she can apply for membership. Renewal of membership annually is dependent on meeting requirements each year.
Cow Share Canada also offers workshops to raise awareness among consumers of
– food rights issues
– what to look for in a healthy, safe cowshare operation
– alternatives to industrial food supplies.
Cow Share Canada hopes that these efforts will result in more complete, accurate information being available to both producers and consumers. Our goal with this accreditation process is to be able to point to safe production and handling practices and standards for anyone who is considering producing or consuming raw milk.