Saturday 28 March 2015

Goat cheese shortage - a niche market for "Kilchoan Crofter"?

Design by Rachael
Last year at about this time there was a Europe wide shortage of goat cheese because of rising demand and falling production across Europe but particularly in France. In the UK there has been steady growth in demand for goat cheeses for over twenty years.

It is a supply problem. The larger British producers have to import milk from Europe because it is Spring. Unlike cows,  goats are seasonal breeders, most kids are born from February until April, the goats are dry for two months before they give birth and they only reach peak production ten weeks into their lactation. These are the technical reasons for the annual shortage there are others.

Historically there is a prejudice against goats and to some extent goat-keeping in the UK. If you are not milking cows then its not real farming and goat keeping has been thought of as belonging to the realm of eccentric smallholders.

The new SRDP proposals include support for food processing, cheese making is food processing. If we were French we would be thinking about co-operating to get our hands on that money. Co-operating by keeping goats here instead of loss making sheep then adding value and taking money directly from you, the buyers..

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