Cornish farmer wins back right to sell his own unpasteurised milk

A Cornish farmer who was told he must stop selling his unpasteurised milk on hygiene grounds has won the backing of the Government’s food watchdog.

Organic farmer Chris Hall was given a month by environmental health officials at Penwith District Council to stop selling the untreated milk to shops near his farm in Treen, near Land’s End, Cornwall.

But after appealing to the Food Standards Agency he was told he was perfectly entitled to carry on selling his milk – much to the surprise of the council.

Mr Hall said the 200 litres of unpasteurised milk he sold to five local shops every week was vital to his business.

“The price I can get on the wholesale market has improved this year.

I can sell as much as 300 litres a week in the summer and that is very important.”

Rebecca Kirk, environmental health manager at Penwith council, admitted they had got it wrong.

“On 1 January 2006, a new set of food hygiene regulations came into force.

It is inevitable with new legislation that issues such as this will arise, particularly when trying to interpret EC regulations into English law.”

Tim Jones stocks the milk at his shop at Trevelyan Farm near the village of Rosudgeon.

He said could sell as much as 60 litres a week.

“When we heard Chris might have to stop providing us with this milk I was absolutely incandescent,” he said.