Dairy Farm, Mallorca. | Catalina Mir


The sale of unpasteurised milk has been banned in the Balearic Islands for more than 30 years, but that’s all about to change.

In December the Central Government approved a decree facilitating the direct sale of food, which allows farmers to market their products. The UPA, which represents farmers, says the new regulations will make a massive difference.

"We know that there is a market that wants to be able to buy unpasteurised milk and this measure will help us to provide an alternative economic outlet for dairy farms," ​​said UPA Executive Manager, Joana Mascaró.

The new decree will permit direct sales to small agricultural and livestock producers, but Mascaró says he wants to check the fine print to find out what requirements the herds will have to meet.

"There were meetings last year about this and many farmers, especially in Minorca were interested in this option, but everything has slowed down because of the pandemic,” he added.

It will be up to the Department of Agriculture to set the guidelines that farmers and ranchers will have to comply with and meetings are already being arranged with the Health Department to clarify the regulations and set food safety guidelines.

The Central Government decree requires that dairy farms appear as an authorised establishment in the general sanitary registry of agri-food companies and demands that unpasteurised milk for sale has a label stressing that it must boiled.

“This pandemic has caused many consumers to focus on agricultural producers and anything that facilitates this exchange is welcome,” said Unió de Pagesos Secretary General, Sebastià Ordinas.

Asaja Manager, Joan Simonet welcomed the decree but he’s skeptical about when it will be implemented in the Balearic Islands.

"If we have to trust the Health Department, perhaps it will be done in 2030," he said, “this type of measures will not save the Sector, but it will help to make it more profitable.”

The new decree also allows birds and rabbits to be slaughtered and marketed on farms.

According to the latest data from the Ministry of Agriculture there are 482 dairy farms and 13,711 head of cattle in the Balearic Islands; 67.9 million litres of cow’s milk was sold in 2019 and 14.5 million of that was from Mallorca.