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Real Deal or No Deal? A Comparative Analysis of Raw Milk Cheese Regulation in Australia and France

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Document pages: 20 pages

Abstract: Australia’s regulatory framework has resulted in the standardisation of cheese production based on pasteurisation. Up until early 2015, regulations effectively prohibited raw milk cheese-making in Australia and thus stifled artisanal on-farm production. Although the introduction of Food Standards Australia New Zealand Standard 4.2.4 has allowed the production of certain hard, low-moisture raw milk cheeses, the new standard is rigid and does not encourage new entrants into the emerging raw milk cheese consumer market. This article compares the Australian system with the French raw milk cheese regulation and production system, and argues that its approach in encouraging and supporting small farmhouse artisanal traditional raw milk cheese is beneficial to both producer and consumer, and has not resulted in any significant health risks. The Australian approach amounts to a missed opportunity to encourage the emergence of a value-added industry with local and export potential, and is at odds with important movements in food policy, such as recognition of the value of localism and terroir.

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