Goats: a bleating good bet for Scottish farmers

Now's the time for farmers in Scotland to invest in goat meat’s global market potential, and play catch-up with their European counterparts.

Goat meat stats

Currently goat meat accounts for 60% of red meat sales worldwide, but this looks likely to increase, given the growing influence of these cuisines in Europe, and in countries like the US and Australia.

Australia itself is developing into a major market for the meat. In 2015 alone, it exported 66% of its meat (17,807 tonnes) to the US.

In Europe, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), sheep and goat production accounted for 1,213,737 tonnes in 2016. Of current European production, Eurostat, the statistics arm of the European Commission, shows Greece at 46.5% is the largest producer of goat meat, followed by Spain at 21.9% and France at 14.4%.

In comparison, the goat market in the UK is very small, with a production size of around 450,000 goats.

Why goat is popular

Goat meat is a high-quality lean red meat, containing less calories, fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol compared to chicken, beef, pork and lamb. It also contains higher levels of protein and iron.

More high-profile chefs are seeing past its reputation for being pungent and tough, and are using it in their gourmet menus. They're showing the rest of the UK that goat meat can be rich, flavoursome, and juicy, depending on the way it’s cooked.

Goat tastes like a combination of beef, lamb, and game, is suitable for stews, curries and broths, but also dry-aged, braised and roasted goat are popular dishes influenced by Middle Eastern and Hispanic cuisines.

Goat gourmet

From farm shops to fancy restaurants goat meat is gaining ground. You’ll find it online, at markets, on the front row in butcher’s shops, and in a growing number of UK homes. It’s a meat that crosses cultures.

Cabrito, Just Kidding, Gourmet Goat, and Springhall, are some of the goat meat producers selling goat meat as a gourmet, healthy, and sustainable food option across the UK. There are currently a few goat farmers in Scotland that produce not only goat cheese, but also goat meat.

The Scottish Goat Meat Company from Glen of Newmill, Banffshire, sells award-winning grass-fed goat meat under the banner of ‘Scotland’s finest goat meat’. Its meat, sold online, comes in various forms and cuts, including diced, marinated diced, chops, leg steaks, shanks, gluten-free goat burgers, sausages, and meatballs.

Goat meat is also starting to be sold in specialist butchers throughout Scotland.

Goat growth opportunities

Scottish farmers and retailers can meet the increasing demand for goat meat around the world. The health benefits of goat meat and its gourmet food potential are already creating increased interest in goat meat in many fashionable restaurants throughout the UK.

As farmers and processors try to target premium and added value markets, goat meat may be a way for Scotland to set itself apart, and to add to Scotland’s reputation of producing quality red meat.

For Scotland - ‘The Land of Food and Drink’ - goat has the potential to be a lucrative investment in terms of quality and consumer demand.

Next step for your business

If you want to understand more about the latest meat trends in Scotland, the UK, and overseas, our innovation team can offer advice and support on developing product and processes, and can help you work with your employees to improve production through innovation.

If you want to work on something new or different that will add value to your business we can help you explore your ideas and develop them. We’ll make sure you make the strides you need to make the most of the food and drink industry growth sectors, including becoming a more prominent player in the domestic and international goat market.

Innovation support for Scottish food and drink companies

Make Innovation Happen is a single source of innovation support for businesses involved in the Scottish food and drink supply chain.

Scotland Food & Drink, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise work in partnership across academia, the public sector and the industry to deliver a comprehensive innovation support service.

Make Innovation Happen can help your business by providing:

  • Access to 'connectors', who can offer support, advice and mentoring, as well as direction to appropriate support
  • Ideas and insights on how to innovate through articles and events
  • Funding through the Collaborative Innovation Fund
  • Help to access other innovation services provided by Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Interface and others

Looking for innovation support?

Our Make Innovation Happen service can help you improve employee, product and process productivity.