DAIRY FOOD Safety Victoria didn't have to raise licence fees due to cost cutting and reducing duplication within the organisation.
That was the message at the organisation's annual general meeting in Melbourne last week.
Last financial year the organisation received $4.8 million from licence and service fees compared to $4.5 million the previous year.
Current licence cost for average dairy farm is about $174 plus 0.015 cents a litre for extra milk and manufacturers have a set fee plus extra for increased production. DFSV chief executive Catherine Hollywell said an increase in milk production had lead to a rise in the organisation's income from fees.
There were also two prosecutions for breaches of the Dairy Act (2000) last year, one in December where the defendant pleaded guilty to failing to comply with two orders, to prevent the removal of dairy food issued by an authorised officer and was fined $5000.
The other was in April where a defendant pleaded guilty to conducting business as a dairy manufacturer without holding a valid license and was also fined $5000.
There were no adverse public health risks associated with dairy during the year.
During the year there were 320 manufacturers audits and 2476 farm audits.
There were 31 serious incidents reported, 23 were controlled within the food company safety program process and eight dairy food product safety incidents were accessed through the DFSV risk assessment process and managed in partnership with the Department of Health..
At the end of the June there were 4556 (bovine) dairy farmers registered in Victoria, 134 licence cancellations during the financial year and 76 applications while there were 158 dairy (bovine) manufacturers.
Timboon dairy farmer Kevin Tesselaar told the meeting he had proof milk sample tests were altered and asked why there was no audit or accountability in the way milk was tested or sampled.
Dr Hollywell said he was "alarmed" test results were being altered and this needed to be taken seriously.
She said DFSV regulated areas where there was a risk to food safety and DFSV did not accredit testing laboratories, but encouraged Mr Tesselaar to provide his information for follow-up.
Con Saris from Black Swan Dips asked if manufacturers of imported dairy products were held to the same strict regulations and standards as domestic manufacturers.
Mr Saris said this wasn't an issue for his business, but regulations in some cases made local products more expensive in the domestic market.
Outside the meeting, Dr Hollywell said products met the food safety standard of wherever they were coming from, Australian regulations were set and regulated by Food Standards Australia New Zealand while the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry assessed brought-in product on a risk basis.