Goat industry maps pathway to prosperity

07 October 2015

The Australian goat industry is set to take on-farm practices, production and exports to the next level with the release of a new five-year research and development plan.

Developed by the Goat Industry Council of Australia (GICA), with support from Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), the Goatmeat and Livestock Industry Strategic Plan 2020 details clear R&D targets for the industry and attributes responsibility to key service providers for achieving those goals.

Projects will include regular market and production reports, and best management practice guides, which will assist producers in making more informed business and herd management decisions.

President of the Goat Industry Council of Australia, Rick Gates, said it was an exciting time to be in the goat industry, with implementation of the plan an opportunity to grow production and export markets.Rick-Gates-IN-article.jpg

“This strategy is a sign that the industry has matured into a professional and permanent part of the Australian livestock industry landscape, with substantial financial opportunities on offer to those who participate,” Mr Gates.

Most countries with large goat populations consume those animals domestically. As a result, Australia is currently the world’s largest goatmeat exporter with approximately 95 per cent of production exported to countries in Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and the United States, to the value of $241.8 million in 2014.

Although there are estimated to be more than 4 million goats in Australia, in 2011 only 500,000 head were in managed herds.

“In order to continue to grow the goatmeat supply base, increased numbers of producers are needed who choose to add goats as an enterprise within their business, rather than those who view goats as an opportunistic harvesting option,” Mr Gates said.

“There is opportunity to increase the number of managed herds and for further integration of goats into mixed grazing enterprises. This evolution and cultural change will assist in improving the consistency of supply, which in the past has been virtually impossible to forecast and has impeded industry development.”

MLA Goat Industry Project Manager Julie Petty said the plan would act as a guide for MLA and other industry service providers when investing producer levies in R&D over the next five years.

The strategic plan also addresses the recently released Meat Industry Strategic Plan (MISP 2020), which was developed by the Red Meat Advisory Council (RMAC) and provides the overarching strategy for the Australian red meat industry.

The Goatmeat and Livestock Industry Strategic Plan 2020 is available for download.

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