The law in British Columbia (see below*) says that “raw milk” means any unpasteurized milk, including unpasteurized milk produced by industrial dairies by methods intended for pasteurization and processing. This can be confusing to the general public and to legislators, who may thus believe that all unpasteurized milk is alike. We believe that it is not. There are two types of raw milk.
The terms “Farm-Fresh” and “Unprocessed” were suggested to us in feedback from members of B.C’s herdshare community, and these terms set our product apart.
- “Farm-” means that our milk is produced on traditional farms where our animals are grazed on green pastures.
- “-Fresh” means that our milk is not cooked (pasteurized). It is also clean and low-risk, being produced according to “best practices.”
- “Farm-fresh” means that our milk goes direct from the farm to the consumer, from grass to glass, within hours of being produced.
- “Unprocessed” means the our milk is not pasteurized, homogenized, thermized, nor sterilized via high pressure processing (HPP).
“Farm-fresh” distinguishes our milk from milk which has been produced by methods intended for pasteurization and processing, methods will include confining the animals and feeding them primarily grain and rations, focusing on increasing milk quantity rather than quality, and processing milk in an industrial plant before it reaches the consumer.
In general, our farms are artisan micro-dairies (as defined by the American Microdairy Association: up to 10 cows or the equivalent number of sheep or goats (approx 25-50) ) or mini-dairies (up to about 40 cows or the equivalent number of sheep or goats, etc.), our products are a labour of love, and many of our farmers even still milk by hand and bottle each milking individually.
Every group in society has the right to choose the words which having meaning for them. Politically, self-naming is a form of empowerment for social groups and movements. Fresh milk and farm-fresh unprocessed milk are two terms which members of the herdshare community are choosing to use.*Milk Industry Act, Milk Industry Standards Regulation, Section 1: “’Raw milk’ means milk that has not been heated above 40°C or undergone any treatment that has an equivalent effect;”