Frequently asked questions

What is Dairy Food Safety Victoria?

Dairy Food Safety Victoria (DFSV) is a statutory authority established by the Victorian Parliament under the Dairy Act 2000, that reports to the Minister for Agriculture. DFSV is responsible for regulating the Victorian dairy industry to ensure that food safety standards which safeguard public health are maintained.

DFSV licences all participants in the dairy industry from the farm through to manufacturing and distribution, through administration of the Dairy Act 2000 and the Food Act 1984.

DFSV monitors compliance with regulatory requirements and takes appropriate enforcement actions in the event of non-compliance.

Who needs to be licensed in the dairy industry?

A licence from DFSV is required for anyone wishing to produce milk for sale or manufacture, transport, or distribute dairy products. This includes milk from cows, sheep and goats, whether intended for human consumption or other purposes. The following businesses operating in the dairy industry sector need to be licensed by DFSV: 

  • dairy farmers
  • dairy manufacturers (including milk brokers)
  • dairy food carriers
  • dairy distributors (and vendors).

For further details go to Starting a dairy business

Why do I need a dairy industry licence and what are the benefits?

Holding a current and valid licence is your authorisation to operate and trade in the Victorian dairy industry. It is a requirement of Part 3, Section 22 of the Dairy Act 2000 that all dairy businesses operating in Victoria must be licensed with DFSV.

A dairy industry licence provides identity and legitimacy, inhibits unregulated entry to the industry and offers industry and consumer protection and security. Licence holders receive considerable benefits through DFSV services that help the Victorian dairy industry maintain and enhance its reputation for safety and quality.

How do I get licensed to operate a dairy business in Victoria?

DFSV is the licensing authority for the dairy industry. Prior to commencing business operations, you must submit an application form and payment to DFSV. An appointment with a DFSV food safety manager will be organised to inspect your premises and confirm that for dairy farmer, manufacturer and carrier applicants a food safety program appropriate to your business is in place. If all requirements have been met  then a dairy industry licence will be issued. This licence should be displayed in a prominent place – it is your passport to trade. For full details, go to Starting a dairy business.

If I manufacture a range of foods on my site including dairy products, who should I be licensed with?

If you have a mixed business where dairy food and other food is manufactured, packed or distributed from your premises, DFSV, in conjunction with other Victorian food regulators, will determine the appropriate licensing authority for your mixed business. The roles and responsibilities of the various food regulators are outlined in a memorandum of understanding. In Victoria it is only necessary to hold one food manufacturing licence. You need to speak with DFSV to discuss the specific details relating to your individual business.

If I operate more than one site as part of my dairy business, does each site need a separate licence?

A dairy business with more than one site will need to have each site licensed separately with DFSV. This is because your food safety program relates to the nature of the business operating at a particular site and in most cases no two premises operate in the same way. Go to Starting a dairy business for further details.

If I operate multiple dairy activities on the same site, is a separate licence for  each activity required?

If you operate multiple activities at the one site, one dairy industry licence will be issued to cover the multiple activities. For example, a dairy farm that has a manufacturing operation on the same site can obtain one dairy industry licence from DFSV that covers both activities. The dairy industry licence requires implementation of a food safety program that addresses the specific requirements of each activity.

Can I export dairy products if I'm licensed with Dairy Food Safety Victoria?

A dairy business currently exporting or intending to export dairy products must meet the requirements detailed in the Export Control (Milk and Milk Products) Orders 2005 and will need to be registered with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. Once export registration has been granted, DFSV will audit the export registered establishment on behalf of the department at the same time as they conduct a regular DFSV audit, so you will not need to be audited separately. For more details on the exporting of dairy food and registration requirements, go to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website.

Does my dairy licence allow me to sell dairy products at a farmers market?

Your dairy industry licence does not permit you to sell dairy products at a local farmers market. If you intend to sell dairy products at a farmers market, you will need to be registered with your local council where your dairy business is located. Registration applications are submitted via Streatrader. Contact your local council office for further details and requirements.

How do I cancel my dairy industry licence?

If you are no longer operating in the dairy industry you must submit a request to cancel your dairy licence in writing to DFSV or complete a licence cancellation form. A pro rata refund of the licence fee will apply upon written application requesting a refund.

How do I transfer my dairy industry licence?

If you are no longer operating your dairy business, but another business or individual is taking over, then you will need to have the licence transferred from your name to the name of the new operator by completing a licence transfer form. Please note, no refund of licence fees paid will apply for transfer of a licence. Further information on transferring a licence is available here.