The market for goats’ milk and goat milk products is still relatively buoyant despite the current economic difficulties. However, due to a large influx of new goat farmers towards the end of the last decade the liquid milk market in this country is more or less filled. Nevertheless, opportunities may arise to supply some of the larger processors of milk and there is also the possibility of developing a new milk product either independently or with an existing producer.
Before any investment in buildings or goats, it is essential to first establish profitable market outlets for your milk. Unless you are prepared to produce fresh milk all the year round, most processors and retailers will not be interested. Goats are seasonal breeders and consequently are seasonal milk producers. Seasonality of milk production can be overcome successfully by manipulation of lighting in housed goats or by sponging.
A diversity of products are being produced in Ireland today such as:
- Milk: which can be sold fresh, frozen, dried powder milk or as baby food
- Cheese: as soft or hard made from either pasteurised or unpasteurised goats’ milk of whey cheese.
- Yoghurt: in solid or liquid form, which will make an ideal drink for schoolchildren as part of their lunch menu?
- Yoghurt from a mixture of dairy goats’ milk and dairy sheep’s milk
- A whiskey drink liquor
- Beauty cream
Asthma and Allergies
Ireland has the highest incidence of asthma in Europe and the fourth highest in the world. 475,000 people in Ireland suffer from asthma and this is increasing at the rate of 1% per annum. Millions of babies the world over are alive today because of the attributes of goats’ milk.
An increasing number of children are unable to digest the fat in cow’s milk but can digest the fat in goats’ milk, as the fat globules are far smaller in goats’ milk. With the increase in the ethnic population, there is a phenomenal increase in the demand for goats’ milk and goat milk products. An increasing number of medical practitioners are recommending goats’ milk.
Given recent changes in ethnic populations in this country, there may be some market for goats’ meat in this country. However, in order to produce goats’ meat profitably the correct breed of goat is required and there are only a handful of this type of goat present in Ireland at the moment. There is also a small market for goat skins to Bodhráin makers.