Dairy farmer

Once you make the decision to start a dairy business, there are several steps to follow before you can legally operate.

Take a look at each of the sections below for all the information you'll need to get started, including a checklist of requirements before you apply for a dairy licence with Dairy Food Safety Victoria (DFSV).

To operate a dairy farm business in Victoria you are required under the Dairy Act 2000 to be licensed with DFSV and comply with the conditions of that licence. This includes compliance with relevant provisions of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, in particular Part 3.2 and Standard 4.2.4.
The Victorian dairy licence handbook outlines what is required to obtain and operate under a DFSV dairy licence.
  1. Ensure your farm meets the requirements
    Ensure your premises and equipment are fit for purpose, in a good state of repair, able to be cleaned and sanitised effectively and comply with Standard 3.2.3 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. Additional information can be found in the DFSV technical information note Managing farm food safety risks and also seek advice from the company you will be supplying. 

  2. Develop a food safety program
    Most milk companies have developed farm quality assurance (QA) program templates within the company QA system which meet the farm food safety program requirements. By adopting and implementing the milk company QA template you will fulfill the DFSV farm licence condition to have an approved food safety program.

    If your milk company does not provide you with a QA system, you will need to develop a documented HACCP-based food safety program outlining the control measures and procedures that are in place to reduce or eliminate significant food safety hazards associated with producing milk. Refer to the Minimum requirements for farm food safety programs. DFSV has developed a template that you can modify to suit your dairy farm.

    Additional requirements - producing milk for raw milk cheese
    If you intend to produce milk for raw milk cheese you will need to address the additional requirements under 4.2.4 in your documented food safety program. Further information, including a checklist of the additional requirements, is available here.

    Additional requirements - milk not intended for human consumption
    If you intend to sell, deliver or supply milk not intended for human consumption you must obtain DFSV’s approval as to how these products will be treated so as to deter human consumption and to clearly differentiate them from dairy food.

    This also applies if you intend to supply raw milk to a manufacturer other than a licensed dairy manufacturer. They will be required to demonstrate to you how they will ensure that products made from that milk will meet this condition. This will be a requirement of your licence.

  3. Ensure adequate skills
    Make sure you have the necessary skills and competency to manage all the food safety aspects in your business. Training courses are available.

Need help?

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on 03 9810 5900.


A dairy farmer licence must be held by the person or entity in charge of operating the business and therefore ultimately responsible for regulatory compliance. The applicant must be a licenseable legal entity (e.g. natural person in law, registered partnership, company or Trustee and trust)

If you plan to operate at more than one site you will need to have each site licensed separately with DFSV.

Submitting your application

Applications for new licences and licence cancellations can be downloaded and printed. Return completed forms to DFSV with applicable payments made by EFT (EFT details are on the application form).

New licence   Cancel a dairy licence          

Click here  for a dairy farmer application information pack

Click  here for information regarding application terminology



Licence transfers

If you are planning to take over a current licence to operate a dairy business held by another person or company, you must apply for a licence transfer. Please do not apply for a new licence.
To apply to transfer a dairy farmer licence, download and print the  Dairy farmer  transfer application form. Further information on licence transfers is available here. There is no cost to transfer a dairy farmer licence.
A request to transfer will be rejected if the process or actions by the applicant are not completed within a 6 month period.

Please note
that it is an offence under the Dairy Act 2000 to commence operations prior to the licence being issued by Dairy Food Safety Victoria. Should DFSV discover that you have been operating a dairy business without a licence, enforcement action including prosecution may result.

Once your application is received a DFSV officer will make contact with you within seven business days after a full application has been submitted ie, an application where the application form and fee have been paid.

In order to assist DFSV in processing your application within 30 days from receipt, please ensure that:

  • The application form is complete and includes relevant payment, and
  • A pre-approved food safety program is adopted from the manufacturer you are supplying; or
  • A food safety program is provided that meets DFSV food safety program guidelines (refer to Guidelines for Food Safety: Dairy farms and Minimum requirements for farm food safety programs on the DFSV website)
  • Bovine dairy farmers will be requested to complete a new farm remote inspection checklist (can be completed in conjunction with your Field Officer if required)
  • Any requested changes to your food safety program draft submitted must be completed and returned within a 30 day period. Failure to do so may result in your application being refused and the application fee forfeited.

If required amendments to FSP (if applicable) are not completed within a 30 day period, after the application has been accepted, the application may be refused and the application fee will be forfeited.

If an application is not approved within 3 months of being received, the application will be refused unless an extension is granted by a member of the Senior Management Team. Applicants will be advised that their application has been refused and that a new application will be required to be submitted. No refund is issued.

A licence application may be refused if the applicant fails to meet the licence approval requirements.

If these conditions are not met your licence application may not be progressed within this period and may be subject to cancellation after 6 months from the date of application.

New licence application fee

The one-off application fee for new dairy farmer licences is $200.15


Licence transfer application fee

There is currently no fee to apply to transfer a dairy farmer licence.

Licence fees 

Dairy farmer licence fees, paid through milk cheques by Manufacturer or Milk Broker (Reported Pay) are calculated per litre of milk supplied from the farm.

Once you obtain a dairy farmer licence and commence milk supply, your licence fee will be deducted from your milk cheque by the milk company that you supply and will be forwarded to DFSV by the milk company on your behalf. In some circumstances, fees can be paid annually directly to DFSV (Direct Pay) in advance based on a milk volume estimate at the same rate for the farm licensing period.

These payments are ongoing until the business is no longer in operation.

Dairy farmer licence fee – by volume rate per annum
Litres$0.0001700 per litre

Direct Pay dairy farmer licence fees are paid every two years, in line with the farm licence renewal period, based on the volume of milk supplied from the farm over a 24-month period. A renewal application will be emailed to you prior to the end of the licence period. An administration fee of $52.70 is also charged for Direct Pay Farms.

For new Direct Pay dairy farm applications, the initial licence fee will be a pro-rata administration fee. An invoice will be sent for payment once the application has been approved.