Goat Central

First national goat meat operation benchmarking offer needs you

Sheep Central, April 2, 2019

Rangeland goats being mustered in NSW. Photo – NSW DPI.

AUSTRALIA’S first organised national benchmarking service for goat meat operations is seeking producer collaborators, especially from the rangelands of New South Wales.

Meat & Livestock Australia and consultancy business Holmes Sackett today said they have partnered to offer 60 commercial goat producers the opportunity to have their businesses fully benchmarked against other goat businesses.

Interested goat producers will be able to have their business benchmarked against the average and top 20 percent goat businesses at no cost apart from their co-operation. This service is valued at $6000.

MLA goat industry project manager, Julie Petty, said some producers are already interested in participating in the benchmarking service, especially in Queensland, but uptake has been slower in New South Wales.

She said the offer will be the first time the benchmarking of goat operations has been co-ordinated nationally to this extent.

More goat data needed – Holmes Sackett

Holmes Sackett consultant John Francis

Holmes Sackett consultant John Franklin said H&S and other providers would have collected some goat data.

“But the amount of goat data is the issue and to analyse goat enterprises appropriately you need sufficient depth of data.

“That’s where this will provide more depth of data and certainly it’s a big opportunity for the industry,” he said.

“If you’ve got meat goats you are a potential participant.”

Mr Franklin said a few fibre/meat goat producers will be in the project, but the intention is to get a better understanding of the meat side of goat production.

About 15 Queensland rangeland and high rainfall managed herds are “on-board” already, but more producers are needed from the rangelands of New South Wales, he said.

“That’s where we can capture the majority of the data, so we need a bit of help from the (NSW) producers to supply us with the information.

“Whether their herds are managed, unfenced or whether they’re traders or depots – we are interested in everything.”

He is also expecting to get the co-operation of producers in the high rainfall areas of NSW, Victoria and Western Australia.

Goat producers participating in the benchmarking will receive:

  • A customised report showing the production and financial performance of their goat enterprise.
  • A comparison of their business performance against the pooled average and top 20% performance, and a fresh set of eyes to help identify the opportunities for improvement.
  • An idea of how they’re tracking against others in the red meat industry through an industry scale comparison of goat enterprise performance against other livestock enterprises over time.

Ms Petty said the benchmarking project it was a convenient and efficient process for goat businesses to gather a great deal of knowledge and information about their business.

“Producers will also have access to the knowledge and skills of Holmes Sackett – a great resource to assist with questions or concerns about the business end of your goat business,” Ms Petty said.

“Producers will also be able to use the farm visit from the experts to identify ways to improve the profitability of their enterprise.”

Benchmarking goats will have benefits

Ms Petty said importantly, the project would also provide significant benefits for the broader industry.

“Participating goat producers will be helping to build the bank of Australia’s goat industry business performance data through their involvement,” Ms Petty said.

“This will in turn help explain to new and existing producers the key production and profitability drivers for goats; demonstrate the effectiveness or not of goat levy investment; and show how the industry is tracking in terms of growth or otherwise.”

She said MLA received many enquiries from people wanting to get into goats, sometimes with a sheep background where they had been able to compare different types of operations.

“We need to get up to speed and have that type of information available for them.”

Ms Petty said there are two data collection timings proposed – one in autumn/winter 2019 and another in 2021.

“Given that drought is currently having a significant impact on production and is unfortunately not an uncommon part of the industry’s cycle, it’s important to collect data from good as well as poor seasons to better understand the volatility that producers and others in the industry experience,” Ms Petty said.

Producers involved in the project will need to:

  • Devote a couple of hours to compile some paperwork prior to a meeting with Holmes Sackett.
  • Provide compliance (tax) or management accounts from 2015-16 to 2017-18.
  • Where possible, provide livestock numbers for all enterprises from 2016 to 2018 including time of kidding/lambing/calving and typical time of sales.
  • Provide number of sales and value of sales for the goat enterprise.
  • Provide opening and closing goat numbers (managed goat enterprises only).
  • Devote at least three hours of time so that Holmes Sackett can record production and financial information.
  • Provide a location on a map or co-ordinates for the best place for a meeting.

Holmes Sackett is a consultancy business that benchmarks the production and financial performance of over 200 farm businesses across south eastern Australia annually.

For this project, Holmes Sackett will be working with goat producers from across Australia to collect five years of goat enterprise data. This time frame will allow for the impacts of seasonal volatility between years to be assessed.

Producers who would like to be involved should contact Prue Francis of Holmes Sackett via email [email protected] or phone on 0435 052 255 to discuss the project further and establish a suitable time for an on-farm meeting.

A webinar will also be held for interested producers on Monday, 15 April. For more information click here.


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  1. Prue Francis, May 13, 2019

    Thank you for your article. Really great to see it and I have shared it on our Facebook site. We are still looking for producers in western New South Wales, so this article is a great help.

    Kind regards
    Prue Francis
    Holmes Sackett

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