The California Milk Handler Surety Bond is required by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
The State of California defines a milk handler as “Every person who purchases, handles, or receives bulk unprocessed or pasteurized manufacturing or market milk for the purpose of manufacture, processing, sale, or other handling.” Every milk handler in the state is required to have a license from the Commissioner of the Department of Food and Agriculture in order to do business. After receiving this license, milk handlers must obtain a California Milk Handler Surety Bond. This bond must be on file with the Commissioner before licensees can purchase milk in bulk from producers.
The California Milk Handler Surety Bond guarantees timely payment for the milk supplied by the farmers and dairies. Without a Milk Handler Surety Bond, no handler can purchase or acquire milk from the producers. The bond amount is managed by the Department of Food and Agriculture. The bond amount will correlate with and depend on the amount of milk purchased on an annual basis.
If a milk handler is found in violation of California’s milk marketing laws, the state may require the handler to get an additional bond or a new bond altogether. If the handler is forced to get a new bond, that new bond will be in a higher amount than the previous one.