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Adding Value to Traditional Goat Products (Conclusion)

More and more goat raisers are taking the road less travelled and are discovering value-added goat products.

The surging interest in goat as an investment area for livelihood and enterprise among business is booming for both the small and the commercial scale goat raisers. Indeed, they have become unbelievably even as the surging investments in goats for livelihood and enterprise has OFWs, government retirees, balikbayans, livelihood programs of government and NGOs interested in the money-making venture.

Much of what is being said about goat production today is how to produce slaughter and breeder goats efficiently and profitably. But unknown to many traditional players in the industry, there are a few who dared the odds and won. These determined individuals went beyond conventional methods and took the paths less traveled. They ventured into goat dairy, production of personal care products from goat milk, certification of a Halal slaughter house and processing chevon into a certified exportable Halal product.

Elmer Rivera. Another dedicated milk man is Elmer Rivera, 33, owner of St Elmo’s Goat Farm and President of Region 4 Small Ruminant Raisers Association. He started the business three years ago when everybody had gone gaga over owning a Boer as the imported goat breed for modern day Filipino goat raisers.

Never a blind follower, Elmer decided to use instead the Anglo Nubian breed and its crosses (Native x Anglo Nubian) and resolved to stake out a niche in the growing market for goat products. Just like the Almedas, he focused on goat dairy to be different from the expanding number of players in the goat industry.

His farm is in Nasugbu, Batangas while his markets for fresh milk, choco milk, cheese, yoghurt and soap are in Tagaytay city, selected retail outlets and weekend markets. He has also regular customers like Ms. Yolly Raca of KALPANA, who purchases goat milk and processes it to vanity products such as soap, creams/ lotion (whitening and moisturizing) and even exfoliants.

Because his farm is small, this jolly, typically hard working Batangueno, and certified eligible bachelor, gathers forages from vacant areas near his farm to supplement and sustain the daily feed requirements of his dairy animals. He maximizes the use of his farm by growing a combination of improved grasses and tree legumes, very ideal for dairy production.

Managing the dairy farm is a dawn to dusk commitment of Elmer. He believes that every drop and squirt of his daily milk collection of around 30 to 40 kg really counts financially in this unique business of goat dairying. Because of increasing demand for goat milk, he sources additional supply from his “goat buddies” the likes of Neo Abalos and Martin Poblador in Lian, Batangas.

Despite the challenges in the business, this milk man declares that goat raising is very fulfilling. economically and psychologically. For this reason, he is quick to make the funny, comforting and maybe ‘blasphemous’ remarks that St. Elmo’s goat is sacred because it is indeed, ” g… the father, g… the son and g…the holy Goat!” And hastily with a wide smile. he says ” if its St Elmo’s its ‘goatta’ and gotta be good”.

Gutsy ladies
The adjective aptly describes these two lady entrepreneurs who have decided to add value to the primary products from goat.

Yolly Raca. This chemist has been very aggressively supporting the goat industry by creating an allied business on personal care products with goat milk as an important component. Yolly buys the milk from St. Elmo’s Goat. Her KALPANA company brand has soap variants for moisturizing and also whitening already in the local market. In fact, aside from the 25 percent goat milk in the bar of soap, included in the formulation is virgin coconut oil – an ingredient reported wondrous effects on human skin. Already in the offing are milk based lipsticks and creams formulated to suit the discriminating taste of the modern Filipina.

Her frequent travels abroad and her participation in trade expos gave her the exposure and confidence necessary to venture into this high end value adding product from goat. For Filipinos conscious about personal care, it is common to find one will occasionally skip a meal and use the money to buy a vanity product instead. Thus, despite the umpteen soaps and soap brands in the market, Yolly’s products will easily penetrate the local market for personal care products. What’s more, these products are especially formulated for the Filipino skin. What a fragrant prospect indeed!

Amelia Coronel. She is the general manager of Fortress Food Mfg Corporation which sells certified Halal goat meat in different variants such as kalderetang kambing (chevon stew), sinampalukang kambing (chevon with tamarind soup) and papaitang kambing (chevon offals soup). The Corporation’s abattoir has been certified technically by the National Meat Inspection Commission while the orientation and physical location of the abattoir, the slaughtering process, the meat and the canned products are certified by the Islamic Dawah Council of the Philippines.

As Halal certified, the canned products can already be exported to the Middle East and even to Malaysia. According to Mel and Yolly (Yolly Raca is also a partner of Fortress Food), the investment in the Halal certified slaughter house and canned products has challenged them. Now that their products are already in supermarkets (Makro is one), it inspires them immensely.

Today, these courageous ladies are excited about their participation to the Philippine Food Caravan in the Gulf this year. As a new comers in the business, they have to exploit all opportunities for exposure and promotion. Furthermore, the vast market of the East offers many possibilities with the thousands of Filipino OFWs there longing for the ‘lutong pinoy’- a delicious longing the lady duo is trying to address and capture.

Finding the niche
As the goat industry continues to expand, allied industries will also grow hand in hand with it. Along with this expansion will be greater opportunities to participate in the vibrant dynamics to create value adding products from a traditional commodity. Innovation and creativity will then be the keys to finding one’s niche in this still limited enterprise of commercializing products from goats beyond the slaughter and breeder animals.