Although the dairy market is largely made up worldwide of cow milk, there is also significant trade in “alternative” milks, such as sheep, goat, camel and even donkey. As consumers develop a keener sense of wanting new and natural, the idea of goat milk and resulting products continues to gain currency. Indeed, goat milk can be a key rejoinder to those non-milk, plant-based drinks that market themselves as nutritious as cow milk. Goat milk has many nutritional benefits and may cause fewer issues with those with lactose and milk protein problems than traditional cow milk.
On the downside, as with most good things, there is always a drawback. Seasonality of goat milk production along with each animal’s smaller size equates to fewer litres for processing. Also, they can be more labour and capital expensive than cows. There is no free lunch.
However, the increase in caprine products means that buying a goat dairy producer such as Bettinehoeve, which Swiss dairy giant Emmi has now done, makes sense. It offers a family-based business that will provide Emmi with yet another string in its bow, and provide finance for the smaller company. Plus, more goats to make products with. I for one welcome more goat cheese producers. While I am devoted to all types of cheese, I do like a lovely, sharp caprine treat on the board, and a lot of fellow cheese lovers agree. Long may the goats grow.