In the United Kingdom, the production of goat milk has changed drastically in the last ten years. The industry is continuously looking for significant future developments in areas such as artificial insemination and genomics, disease control, mortality reduction and protocols for rearing kids.
Nonetheless, the goat industry is not a notable livestock sector in the United Kingdom, as evidenced by the evolution in the number of animals during the last 25 years (Figure 1). According to FAO census data, the total number of animals was at a maximum in 1990, followed by a continuous decline until the beginning of the 2000s. After that, the number of heads showed an upswing with some peaks and valleys, and a linear increase from 2010 to 2016 (FAOSTAT, 2016). The largest concentrations of commercial goat operations are found in York, Somerset and Worcestershire counties, all of them located in England.
Heather Briggs, Representante de la International Goat Associations en Reino Unido
La producción de leche de cabra ha cambiado drásticamente en los últimos 10 años en el Reino Unido. La actividad está continuamente mirando hacia un desarrollo significativo en áreas como la inseminación artificial y la genómica, el control de enfermedades, la reducción de la mortalidad y los protocolos de crianza de los cabritos.
A pesar de ello, el caprino no es un sector ganadero destacable en Reino Unido, si vemos la evolución en el número de cabezas en los últimos 25 años (Figura 1) el censo marca un máximo donde comienzan la serie de datos de la FAO en el año 1990, un descenso continuo hasta inicio de los años 2000, seguido de un aumento constante de las cabezas, sobretodo hasta el año 2008, que el incremento se vuelve más errático y casi estancado (FAOSTAT, 2016). Las concentraciones más grandes de cabras comerciales se encuentran en los condados de York, Somerset y Worcestershire, todos ellos en Inglaterra.
Country Representative for United Kingdom
Heather is a mature, part-time, self-funded Ph.D. candidate at the Sustainability Research Institute, University of Leeds. Her interest in goats stems from work done in translations for a number of specialist researchers on the caprine species. She holds an MSc in Agricultural Economics from Wye College, University of London and is a freelance agricultural journalist regularly working for numerous national and international agricultural trade publications. She also has experience as manager of an agricultural cooperative based in Spain and exporting fruit and vegetables to the UK and the Netherlands. Her doctoral research involves investigating links between sustainable intensification and vertical farming. She is also an international cheese judge, judging at the Nantwich International Cheese Awards and the World Cheese Awards.
Dairy farmers of the future could be raising male kid goats (billies) for the meat market as a supplementary source of income, according to James Whetlor, co-proprietor of specialist wholesaler Cabrito Goat Meat.
The market for kid-goat meat is on the rise, with a steady but constant increase in demand that is thanks to Mr Whetlor’s innovative trickle-down marketing, who now supplies billies to more than 50 restaurants.
“There is a huge, untapped market out there, but first we need to ensure that people can try the meat quite cheaply,” says the former London chef.
Written by Heather Briggs, IGA Country Representative, United Kingdom
The sweet, salty and nutty flavor of the blue goats’ cheese presented by the Cornish Cheese Company resulted in it winning the category ‘100 percent Goat Milk Cheese open to UK Producers’ at the 2017 International Cheese Awards held at Nantwich, the United Kingdom on July 25.
Kay Barlow, Category Technical Manager for Core Chilled at British supermarket chain ASDA, judged the class alongside Heather Briggs, who is also the International Goat Association’s UK country representative. Both had no hesitation in declaring their winner.
The International Goat Association promotes goat research and development for the benefit of humankind, to alleviate poverty, to promote prosperity and to improve the quality of life.