The Government thought it had shut Lindsay Farm down, but the raw dairy farm is still in business.
It has a loyal following for its raw milk but because, historically, raw milk spreads disease, its sale is tightly controlled to keep consumers safe.
Nowadays there's strong demand for raw milk because of belief in its health benefits.
With 1700 customers throughout the North Island, Lindsay Farm is at a scale that can't match Government rules that say raw milk must be delivered direct from the farmer.
Lindsay Farm spokeswoman Ange Brooks said the business "did not sign up to all the rules and regulations" because of the requirement consumers needed to collect from the farm, or alternatively a delivery had to be direct to the consumer's door.
"We've been selling milk for 12 years now and use a system where we use a depot," she said.
"We have set up a farm partnership where our consumers are part of our farm - we offer them a service.
"We use a chilled courier twice a week and the milk gets delivered to a collection point in those towns, so that they can access raw milk."
The system seemingly worked well for the organic farm, with no case of illness ever confirmed to have been caused by the raw milk, though raw milk was one of several possible causes of illness in four people in Hawke's Bay in 2019.
The Government raided raw milk producers nationwide and Lindsay was given a directive to stop its distribution system, a directive the Central Hawke's Bay family-owned business ignored.
"MPI in December last year decided they would come and do some warrants on our farm and are looking at prosecuting us, because we haven't signed up to the regulations," Brooks said.
"We had some very concerned partners in December, that we were going to stop and they would lose access.
"We are still operating our partnership. We feel we have set that up legally and properly and those 1700 people rely on us.
"I guess it's an interpretation at this point and we are really keen to resolve that with MPI and work with them to find a way through the process.
"We really hope they will work with us and we can find a way through it.
"We can't afford to stop - we are too small by far to supply Fonterra so if we can't continue with our business model then we have no business effectively."
Talks between Lindsay Farm and MPI have started, with the farm owner saying a written proposal was requested to best address problems with regulations.
MPI said it does not comment on active investigations.
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