State of the Ontario Goat Industry
Table of Contents
The Ontario and Canadian goat industries are experiencing steady growth. The expansion is occurring primarily in the dairy sector, with milk production increasing steadily since 2008 as producers are increasing production on farm. Goat meat continues to be in demand. Increased supply to the live auction and increased slaughter has only resulted in an average price decrease of 3.2% in 2013, with indications that prices will be higher in 2014.
Goat inventory numbers are only available from Census data. The latest data is from 2011. As shown in Figure 1, Ontario continues to have the largest number of goats in Canada, with 52% of the goats. Quebec and Alberta have the second- and third- largest herds, with 17% and 13%, respectively, of the goats in Canada.
The number of goats in Canada has been increasing steadily since the 2001 Census data were collected. Figure 2 shows that the most growth in goat numbers has been in Ontario. Ontario almost doubled the number of goats in the province between 2001 and 2011. In contrast, as shown
in Figure 3, the number of goat farms in Ontario has only increased by 15.5%. This means that, in Ontario, goat farms are increasing in size. In Figure 3, the number of goat farms refers to the number of farms that are classified as goat farming rather than any farm with a goat.
Figure 1. Number of goats by province, Census 2011. Source: Statistics Canada.
Figure 2. Number of goats by province, Census 20012011. Source: Statistics Canada.
Figure 3. Number of goat farms by province, Census 20012011. Source: Statistics Canada.
Figure 4. Number of licensed goat milk producers in Ontario, 19972013. Source: Food Industry Division, OMAFRA
December 2013 month-end records show a total of 225 licensed goat milk facilities in Ontario. Figure 4 shows that the number of goat milk producers has stabilized. Twenty-one new premise approvals were completed in 2013, indicating that there is some producer turnover even though the total numbers are stable.
Figure 5 shows the estimated goat milk production for Ontario, Quebec and all of Canada. Ontario has shown a steady increase in milk produced since 2008. In 2012, Ontario produced 77% of the estimated production in Canada. In 2012, Ontario dairy goat farms produced, on average, 58% more milk than the average Ontario dairy goat farm in 2008.
Figure 5. Canadian goat milk production, 20032012. Source: Canadian Dairy Information Centre Estimated Milk Production.
Approximately 16% of the Canadian goat milk production is sold as fluid goat milk. Figure 6 shows the steady increase of fluid milk sales from 2005 to 2010. Fluid milk sales have remained stable in the period 20112013 even though there has been a significant increase in production over this period. The increase in milk supply has been directed to cheese production.
Figure 6. Volume of Canadian fluid goat milk sales, 20052013. Source: Euromonitor International December 2013.
Figure 7. Value of Canadian fluid goat milk sales, 20052013. Source: Euromonitor International December 2013.
Figure 8. Imports of goat milk cheese into Canada, 20082013. Source: Canadian Dairy Information Centre.
Figure 9. Canadian Gjetost cheese exports, 20062013.
Figure 7 shows the steady growth in the value of Canadian retail goat milk sales from 2005 to 2013. In view of the static volume over the past 3 years, this indicates a rising price over this time period.
In Figure 8, the volume of goat cheese refers only to soft goat cheese, which is the only cheese identified as goat cheese by the Canadian Dairy Information Centre. Canadian goat cheese imports have increased by 7.6% between 2012 and 2013, after a drop of 10.2% between 2011 and 2012.
The only goat milk cheese with available export information is Gjetost cheese. Figure 9 shows an erratic history of export. A small amount of this cheese was exported in 2013 with a value of $13.37/kg.
Many cheeses contain a mixture of different types of milk. Some natural and fresh cheeses that often contain mixtures of cow, sheep and goat milk include feta, ricotta and romano. Table 1 indicates that imports of feta are increasing, but imports of the other cheeses have decreased steadily as the production of Canadian goat milk has increased.
Table 1. Selected natural and fresh Canadian cheese varieties import volumes (kg), 20062012. Source: Canadian Dairy Information Centre.
Figure 10. Canadian goat slaughter, 20042012. Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
Figure 11. Provincially inspected goat slaughter, 20042012. Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
There were 394 farms classified as goat farms in the 2011 Census. In 2011, there were 247 licensed dairy operations. This leaves a potential 147 goat farming operations dedicated to meat goat production in Ontario.
In Canada, most goat slaughter is done in provincial plants. In 2012, 6.4% of the goats were slaughtered in federal facilities, with the remainder in provincial plants. Figure 10 shows variation in the number of goats slaughtered from year to year, with an overall trend of increasing slaughter over the last decade. The increase in goat slaughter has been in provincial plants.
Figure 11 shows the change in provincial slaughter by province over time. In 2012, Ontario slaughtered about 70% of the goats slaughtered in provincial plants in Canada. Since provincially inspected meat cannot be sold out of province, this means that Ontario consumes 70% of the goat meat produced in Canada.
Figure 12. Number of kids and goats sold at live auction in Ontario, 20102013. Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
In 2013, there were 13.6% more goat kids sold through live auction than in 2012 a 54% increase since 2010. Figure 12 shows that the number of kids being marketed through the live auction system has been increasing, while the number of goats has been holding steady.
The use of imperial and metric measurement in this Factsheet reflects the way information is reported by the original source for the goat industry. Prices fo live animals are reported in pounds (lb).
1 lb = 0.453 kg. To convert from pounds to kilograms, multiply by 0.453.
1 kilogram = 2.204 lb. To convert from kilograms to pounds, multiply by 2.204.
Figure 13. Ontario kid prices, 20102014. Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
Figure 14. Ontario goat prices, 20102014. Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
Overall, the price for kids is quite volatile throughout the year. On average, kid prices were a little lower in 2013 than in 2012. First-quarter prices indicate that the average price is likely to be higher in 2014. As shown in Figure 13, the Ontario kid price varies significantly from month to month throughout the year. The 2013 average price of $186.16 is 3.2% lower than the 2012 average price of $192.29/100 lb.
The price of mature goats varies significantly from one month to another during the year. In 2013, the average monthly price ranged from a low of $100.50/100 lb to a high of $170.61/100 lb. As shown in Figure 14, this volatility is common from year to year. Overall, in 2013, the average price for mature goats was $139.80/100 lb, a 13.3% decrease from the average price of $161.31/100 lb received in 2012.
Figure 15. Number of live goat imports, 20072013. Source: Canadian International Merchandise Trade Database, Statistics Canada.
Figure 16. Number of live goat exports, 20062013. Source: Canadian International Merchandise Trade Database, Statistics Canada.
Figure 17. Volume of goat meat imports (kg), 20032013. Source: Canadian International Merchandise Trade Database, Statistics Canada.
There are only a small number of live goats imported and exported from Canada and Ontario. Figures 15 and 16 show the numbers of goats imported and exported to and from Canada and Ontario since 2006. In 2012 and 2013, few animals were imported into Ontario, however all of the exported animals were sourced from Ontario.
Over the past 10 years, goat meat imports have been increasing. In 2013, 2,067,675 kg of goat meat was imported into Canada. This is a 3.4% increase over the 1,999,484 kg imported in 2012.
Figure 17 shows that Ontario imports more than half of the goat meat imported into Canada. In 2013, Ontario imported 58.6% of the goat meat imported into Canada an increase of 7.2% compared to the 1,129,903 kg imported into Ontario in 2012.
Figure 18. Volume of Canadian goat meat imports (kg), 20062013. Source: Canadian International Merchandise Trade Database, Statistics Canada.
As shown in Figure 18, most of the goat meat imports come from Australia, with a small amount coming to Canada and Ontario from New Zealand.
Canadian goat meat exports remain relatively steady, as shown in Figure 19. In 2013, the Canadian export of goat meat dropped by 6.4% from
91,964 kg in 2012 to 86,125 kg in 2013. However, the Ontario export increased from no goat meat exports in 2012 to 23,303 kg exported in 2013. Most of the exported product from Canada went to Trinidad and Tobago, with a small amount going to Barbados and France.
Figure 19. Volume of Canadian goat meat exports (kg), 20092013. Source: Canadian International Merchandise Trade Database, Statistics Canada.
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