Family-run goat farm in Redditch secures business loan

A family-run goat farm in Redditch has secured a loan to increase farming capacity after a strong first year in trading thanks to the increasing popularity of goat meat.

Long Meadow Goats, owned by John Walley and Charlotte Mercer, has secured a £150,000 business loan from HSBC, allowing them to buy an additional 1,000 sq ft of open space at Holberrow Green.

The business will build an extra barn and use the space to rear more one-week-old billy goat kids before turning them out onto the farm’s 16 acres to graze free range.

Charlotte believes the business has a bright future.

She said: “Domestically, goat meat is becoming a foodie trend and is finally getting the respect it deserves from chefs across the UK.

“We are well-placed to fulfil this demand and most importantly continue to produce high-quality British free-range meat without compromising on animal welfare, the extra barn space will allow our business to grow organically.”

Goat meat is set to hit the mainstream market this year, though it already makes up 60 percent of red meat consumption globally.

Andy Hipwell, Agricultural Director for HSBC in the Midlands, said: “The new-found popularity of goat meat has meant that the business needed to increase farming capacity and HSBC UK was happy to support these expansion plans, ensuring the business has the capability to meet future demand.

“Jonathan and Charlotte have spotted an opportunity to be early movers in a niche market, which is set to expand over the coming years.”

In the UK goats have been traditionally reared for dairy purposes only but the meat is seen as a healthier alternative to other red meats.