The Market for Goat Meat (Chevon) in the Siouxland Region of Western Iowa
Betty L. Wells, Faculty, Sociology Department
U.S. demand for goat meat outstrips supply, recent immigrants to the Midwest U.S. favor it, and goats thrive in Iowa. Goats produce high quality meat, and over half of the red meat consumed worldwide is purported to be goat all signaling opportunity for Iowa producers.
To characterize the demand for goat meat (chevon) in the Sioux City area and to identify barriers to, strategies for, increasing processing and consumption
- Case studies of two successful meat goat producers with distinctive marketing strategies: direct marketing and wholesale marketing (to urban markets beyond Iowa).
- Recommended developing the market through farmers markets, buying clubs, combination meat retailing/restaurants outlets, and increasing consumption by the majority population.
- Recommended that producers entering the wholesale market focus on producing a steady and sufficient supply of market-ready kids through year-round kidding or working with a network of producers to provide plants with adequate and consistent supply of animals.
- Recommended that new direct marketers begin with a few goats (good stock from a trusted source); tap into communities of practice and niche-markets for hormone- or anti-biotic-free or pasture-raised (lean) product; process in a state- or USDA-inspected facility for retail sale in groceries, restaurants, or at farmers markets; and recognize that to succeed full-time with direct marketing requires good doses of temperament, flexibility, cultural sensitivity, time, and ideally proximity to immigrants.
- 6 poster presentations at conferences; 2 presentations at workshops.
- Documented a small and segmented consumer market, in which preferences (as to age, cut, slaughter practices, etc.) vary by ethnic and religious background. On-farm sales satisfy some local demand, but other consumers including some who also purchase directly prefer the convenience of purchasing chevon in a store. More would eat fresh goat meat if more readily available, but grocers who have stocked it report slow turnover and subsequent spoilage.
- Identified an underdeveloped middle of the market as the key barrier to increased local production and marketing of chevon. The current choice for consumer is either inexpensive frozen imports or whole animals. For producers, the choice is either direct marketing or selling goats wholesale to markets beyond Iowa. The missing piece is a consistent local processor to provide a supply of fresh chevon at local stores and restaurants.
- Increased interest in meat goats (as evidenced by phone and e-mail contacts from buyers, producers and consumers) and consequent facilitating of marketing relationship between goat farmers and Muslim consumers, between a Whole Foods buyer and Iowa goat producers, and between individual consumers and producers.
June 29, 2007
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August 2, 2007
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