Dairy Producer Organisations: apply for recognition

Apply for, and gain, recognition as a Dairy Producer Organisation (DPO) in the UK.

If you meet the requirements to become a Dairy Producer Organisation (DPO), you can apply to Rural Payments Agency (RPA) for recognition. You can apply at any time during the year.

You need to register with RPA to get a Single Business Identifier (SBI) – call 03000 200 301.


Once you have the SBI, you can apply using the application for recognition as a Dairy Producer Organisation (DPS1) (PDF, 241 KB, 8 pages).

RPA will tell you if your application is successful within 4 months of receiving your application – as long as you’ve sent all of the supporting information. If your application is not successful, RPA will explain why.

Check what supporting documents you need to send

As part of your application, you need to send the following information to RPA.

  • A list of members and their trading details including:
    • their names and addresses
    • the date they joined the DPO
    • their holding numbers
    • their trader registration SBI number used for milk quotas (not for Single Payment Scheme)
    • whether or not they are a member of a cooperative
    • their marketable production volume in the EU each year (in litres)
    • proof that the DPO is a legal entity or a clearly defined part of a legal entity: this could be a copy of a Certificate of Incorporation (or equivalent under Industrial Provident Society or Companies Act)

You also need to send evidence that:

  • the DPO has a specific aim
  • the DPO is able to carry out activities effectively over time
  • the DPO has Articles of Association, rules or membership agreements. These need to give information about the legal constitution and rules of the organisation, which need to meet the requirements above, and include:
    • a requirement for members to apply the rules stated by the DPO
    • members to belong to only one DPO unless approved by RPA
    • a rule requiring members to give information asked for by the DPO for statistics
    • procedures for making and amending the rules of the DPO
    • details of members’ financial contributions to finance the DPO
    • rules allowing members to review the DPO and its decisions
    • penalties for breaking DPO rules, in particular non-payment of financial contributions
    • rules on accepting new members
    • minimum membership periods, if any
    • resignation procedures for members
    • rules on budgets and accounting for running the DPO
    • agreement on action to be taken in case of force majeure
    • rules on dissolving the DPO

If the DPO intends to negotiate contracts for the delivery of milk on behalf of its members, it must also:

  • show how the price will be negotiated and the contractual relationship between the DPO, its members, and any purchaser(s)
  • give details of whether the DPO intends to take ownership of the milk before selling it to other purchasers, or negotiate on behalf of its members
  • make sure that any negotiations do not cover milk which is covered by a separate DPO or a cooperative

Joining more than one DPO

If you have holdings in different geographic areas, you can contact RPA and ask to become a member of a separate DPO for each holding.



Telephone: 03300 416 500

Rural Payments Agency
Dairy Producer Organisation Section
Lancaster House
Hampshire Court
Newcastle upon Tyne

Relevant regulations

Regulation (EUR) No 2013/1308 of the European Parliament and of the Council

Regulation (EUR) 2012/880

Regulation (EUR) 2012/511

Statutory Instrument No 2019/1402

Published 31 March 2014
Last updated 18 July 2023 + show all updates
  1. Added link to statutory instrument under Relevant Regulations, requested by SME.

  2. DPS1 has been made accessible

  3. New version of the Application for Recognition as a Dairy Producer Organisation (DPS1) form published.

  4. First published.