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Feasibility Study for Establishing a Centre of Excellence in Dairy ...

Feasibility Study for Establishing a Centre of Excellence in Dairy ...

Executive SummaryThe

Executive SummaryThe Greater Peterborough Innovation Cluster with the support of the AgriculturalAdaptation Council, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and the Ontario dairy goatproducers called for the development of a proposal to provide options for theestablishment including funding opportunities and the governance of a Centre ofExcellence for dairy goats and other small ruminants with collaboration between TrentUniversity and the University of Guelph.The dairy goat sector in Ontario is a small but growing sector. There are an estimated270 dairy herds in Ontario with farm gate sales of $25 million annually. Central Ontarioaccounts for approximately 25% of the milk produced.2 | P a g e

The meat goat sector is similar to the sheep meat sector. The sector is largely drivenby the ethnic demand with peaks occurring at specific religious holidays. Kid weight atmarket varies with the timing of the religious celebrations. At retail, goat producerscompete for sales with imported meat from New Zealand and Australia.Goat fibre producers in Ontario are few with only one Cashmere producer and smallAngora goat herd in the province. Recent plant closing has created new challenges forprocessing the fibre.The Ontario sheep industry is well-developed and addresses the demand for meat inOntario. Ontario and Quebec account for 50% of the production. There are also 50 or somilking sheep producers in Ontario.The sheep industry for meat purposes has well-developed genetics. These have beenencouraged through the use of genetic improvement tools that have been available tothe sector for the past 25 years. The wool industry is supported by a marketingcooperative where wool is graded and sold to the wool processing sector.The collection of goat and sheep milk at farms is constrained by the geography andcosts for transportation, resulting in many producers shipping milk once a week. Inrecent years the sector has benefited from the entry of new producers. The range offarm sizes varies considerably from small herds with less than 100 goats to herds ofmore than 1000 does. Profit margins in the sector are believed to vary by farm size andproducers refer to herd sizes of 400 goats as the minimum needed for profitability. Theincreasing proportion of larger commercialized flocks will require additional access toresearch and to the latest technologies available and in use in competing jurisdictions.The dairy goat processing industry is anchored by one large dairy accounting for 60%of the goat milk processed. A group of smaller dairy processors are also servicing thesector with some focusing on capturing sales in the specialty niche markets and forexport. Opportunities exist to expand markets into bath and beauty products as well asa full complement of processed dairy products.Market segments have not been defined, nor market size determined; producers havebeen able to market all of their production as there is a gap between supply anddemand for goat milk and milk products. There is evidence however that someprocessors are reaching their capacity to process more milk.3 | P a g e

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