5 Apr 2012

Goat industry wants to meet global demand

12:55 pm on 5 April 2012

The goat industry is investigating ways to expand its meat and fibre production to meet increasing worldwide demand, and boost returns for farmers.

Representatives met in Blenheim this week.

Federated Farmers says about 200 farmers raise goats for meat, 90-percent of which is sent overseas.

While overall demand remains strong, goat sector chairman John Woodward says there's potential to get higher prices for younger goat meat, which he says is currently lumped in with all other types.

But he says it's hard to boost returns when there's a lack of unity within the industry.

New Zealand produces about 45 tonnes of Mohair fibre a year, with most heading to South Africa where it's made into rugs and yarn.

Mr Woodward says prices for Mohair remain strong at $13 per kg and the outlook is good due to a drop in mohair production worldwide.

He says re-establishing a levy to pay for market access and encouraging new farmers to join the industry was also discussed at the conference.