Selling Raw Milk

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by FlipFlopFarmer, May 10, 2004.

  1. FlipFlopFarmer

    FlipFlopFarmer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    115
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2003
    Location:
    Oregon
    I talked to my insurance agent - FIRST MISTAKE! My second was asking them if I had any liability coverage under our homeowner's insurance for selling raw milk and eggs. They don't have a problem with the eggs but under no uncertain terms am I covered for selling raw milk. :waa: And, as my insurance agent put it...."Just don't even do there!" Which basically equals....You're going to get non-renewed if you do!

    This kinda freaks me out as I used to be a claims adjuster and I know what lawsuits can do! :no:

    The people that I've talked to about selling their raw milk just don't tell their insurance company. Anyone else have this issue with their company or know of a company that will offer a endorsement to the policy to provide coverage?

    :) Carla
     
  2. Just a thought, but if I was in the market for selling raw dairy, I'd sit down with potential client and explain the bennies AND the risks(though very small) of consuming raw milk. I'd have all this information on a sheet of paper with a clause stating that they understand the potential risks and that they agree not to hold me responsable if something should happen. Basically a cover your butt kinda thing, give them a copy and keep one on file. If they refuse to sign, explain that sorry to protect yourself from a potential frivalous lawsuit they need to agree to terms or you can't sell to them. I'd have documantation and be willing to show off the health of my heard and show the cleanliness of the milking to consumer bottle process if they so desired.
     

  3. tim1253

    tim1253 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    67
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2002
    Location:
    East TN
    Oregon
    Raw goat milk sales are legal both on-farm and retail. Raw cow milk sales are illegal except on farms with less than three milking cows; these farms require no license. Currently there are many cow-share programs in Oregon.


    I'm not sure that any Homeowners Insurance would cover liability for any food product.

    Tim
    Knoxville
     
  4. A lot depends on where you are. Some states you cannot even give away milk; some you can sell a certain amount without licensing. One way around most regulations is selling for "pet milk"...same milk. If people have a "really big dog" that gets in their fridge at will it's not your concern. (if they drink it fine - but you're selling it as pet milk). Some states - WA is one - you must put a dye in the milk. :-( AZ was looking at doing the same thing.
     
  5. FlipFlopFarmer

    FlipFlopFarmer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    115
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2003
    Location:
    Oregon
    Put dye in the milk? What kind of dye and why?
     
  6. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,489
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    Aug 13, 2003
    I have farm insurance. I sell meat and poultry. I only sell stuff that is processed in a USDA facility. I have a meat broker's license and everything is legal.

    I do not and cannot get product liability insurance through my farm insurance.

    I have regular liability which would cover any accidents which might occur in the process of doing business. I have no idea what accident might occur....I crash my truck with a load of product and someone is decapitated by a frozen chicken? I don't know.

    My insurance knows what I do. If I were to decide to do my own processing....I would be cancelled. The only reason I'm not getting cancelled is because I use USDA facilities. If I were to ask if I could sell raw milk (I have no idea if it's legal here in Illinois), I would be dumped immediately.

    I cannot imagine there is any insurance company in the entire country that would insure one for selling raw milk. Way too big a risk. I personally know of folks who sold home processed chickens (legally), but were summarily dumped by their insurance carriers. There is no company that will insure them. Zero. Zilch. Just doesn't exist.

    Most of the people I know who have been cancelled continue to do what they do....with no insurance at all. It's not a matter of their chickens not being covered...THEY are not covered...not their farm, their machinery, or anything else. I, personally, would come up with a different business that is insurable, but that's just me.

    Some try to set up a LLC to cover their butts, but that is not as easy as it sounds. An LLC must be maintained and there things like you cannot co-mingle funds with the LLC that would make it near impossible for me to do.

    I don't really worry about the product liability. If someone were to sue...I have enough debt to make their lawyers look a little further for the one with deep pockets. It's certainly not me.

    Jena
     
  7. I have been selling fresh raw milk since 1992, and have never had a complaint yet.I tell my customers that if they have a problem with the milk I want to be the first to know about it. I have not told my ins. agent that I do sell milk but she I am sure that she knows it. We live in a small rural community and the word gets around fast. My feelings are that I have been selling a product for 12 years and have never had a problem and that speaks well for itself. I tease my customer when they come for milk the first time that they are buying dog food or cat food and if they want to eat cat food or dog food that is fine with me. I think the most important thing is to keep everything clean and sanitary as possible. I have lived on a dairy farm most of my life and have used the fresh milk all of that time and I have never been sick because of it. I do check my cows for T. B. each year.I love to talk about this and could go on all day. My advice keep everything clean don't say too much, know your customers and make sure they realize what they are buying.