“DRESDEN, Ont. — A court decision last week hasn’t put an end to Michael Schmidt’s raw milk business.
The Court of Appeal for Ontario upheld an Ontario Court of Justice ruling from three years ago that said Schmidt’s “cow-share” scheme was not a legitimate way to circumvent the province’s Health Protection and Promotion Act, which prohibits the sale, delivery and distribution of unpasteurized milk and cream.
It also didn’t accept Schmidt’s argument that the act is contrary to Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and refused to admit the presentation of new evidence concerning raw milk’s benefits.
Schmidt, speaking from his Ontario farm near Durham in Grey County, said he remains a raw milk “provider” for about 150 customers.
Instead of cow shares, Schmidt and his wife, Elisa, have issued “farm shares” to their customers. The members also pay the Schmidts for their labour.
“We looked at the whole issue and debate and decided that people should get more involved in the entire aspect of the farm and take ownership. That’s why we went to the farm share concept,” Schmidt said.
“It is a co-operative so there needs to be a distinction between what happened seven years ago.”
That’s when Schmidt said officers from the provincial natural resources ministry raided his farm on behalf of the agriculture ministry. In the initial court proceeding, a justice of the peace accepted Schmidt’s cow-share argument and acquitted him of all charges. …”