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Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers Farming Insights #2: Goat Farming

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Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers Farming Insights #2: Goat Farming

July 10
16:09 2018

CIS Excellence Independent Hotel of the Year co-sponsor, Bruce Stevenson Insurance, has compiled a library of articles in an effort to shed light on Scotland’s constantly evolving farming sector. Entitled Farming Insights, the features examine issues affecting Scottish farmers and their land, livestock and livelihoods.

In this, the second in a series, Jean Arnott-Glennie extols the virtues of a more unusual type of meat for menus around Scotland.

Aberdeenshire farmers Maxine Tarry and Ian Garden manage an arable, sheep, beef and goat enterprise specialising in high health-status goats for both breeding and meat production. Equipped with a contract to supply weaned goat kids and finished carcasses to local butchers, the duo also sell goat breeding stock from the farm and supplement their animal feed from their own arable crops.

Here’s an extract from a recent interview with them:

Q: How much demand is there for goat meat?

A: There is growing demand for it as it is very lean product. It is still quite a niche market, although it is used fairly extensively in ethnic cooking.

Q: How long have you been goat farming

A: We started nine years ago with the traditional Boers and then diversified into full red Boers in 2013. Unsurprisingly, Boers originate from South Africa

Q: You have breeding sheep as well as breeding goats; what do you see as the main differences?

A: Goats are a more specialist market. You need more money to invest in the breeding stock and feed costs than with sheep. That said, goats are friendlier to work with; they each have their own distinct personality and, of course, sheep are more prone to dying!

Q: You went to South Africa last year to obtain your qualification in goat stock judging. What was the most interesting part of that experience?

A: but the most exciting part trip was seeing the difference in stock handling compared to here. The genetics that have been developed over the years due to the warmer climate were fascinating to observe.

Q: What have you changed in your own farming practices on the back of this training?

A: We have a better understanding of the breed and what to look for, including length, conformity and genetics, and this new knowledge will provide us with improved animal quality and increased carcass weight.

Q: Is goat meat particularly healthy?

A: As with all lean meats it is good for you, as it is high in protein and low in fat.

Q: Is it cheap or expensive, relative to other meats?

A: Prices are comparable to lamb.

Q: What dishes can be made with goat meat?

A: Curries, burgers, sausages are all popular, or it can be enjoyed as a joint or a steak.

Q: What advice would you give someone looking to start out in goat farming?

A: Make sure you provide good housing and dry pasture and don’t expect a quick return; like a lot of farming activities, it takes time to see a return on investment. Buy the best quality you can afford and with the best high health status available.


Goat Meat and Chicken Stew 


  • Whole chicken
  • 1kg goat meat
  • Three medium onions, sliced
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Scotch bonnet/Habanero Pepper
  • Tomato paste
  • Seasoning cubes; Maggi/Knorr
  • Crushed ginger and garlic
  • Thyme
  • Curry powder
  • Vegetable oil


  1. Wash, clean and cut up the chicken and goat meat. Season and cook with half of the chopped onions, ginger, seasoning cubes, thyme and garlic. Cook with water up to the level of the goat meat and chicken contents of the pot. When the meat is fine, then add salt, allow to simmer for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a sieve to drain.
  2. Wash and blend the fresh tomatoes together with the scotch bonnet. Pour the blended into a pot and cook at high heat till almost all the water has dried. Add tomato paste/puree and cook together till the water have dried.
  3. Place a large pot on medium heat and heat up the vegetable oil. Add the sliced onions and the thick cooked tomato mixture (or the puree or fresh tomatoes if that’s only thing you are using). Stir very well.
  4. Add in seasonings and fry at very low heat and stir occasionally – allow to cook till the oil has completely separated from the tomato puree and the raw tomato taste is gone.
  5. Add the meat. Add the goat meat and chicken. Stir very well and add salt if necessary. Add whatever other ingredient and seasoning you think isn’t sufficient, and adjust to taste.
  6. Cover the pot and allow to cook on low heat for about 30 minutes. And it’s ready. Serve stew with your choice of side; boiled rice, yam, plantain. We highly recommend freshly cooked white rice. Enjoy!

Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers provides a variety of specialist policies for the farming community. Visit for more information.

See the results of the 2018 CIS Excellence Awards here.

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Catering Scotland

Catering Scotland

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