A family-run farm in Redditch, has built a new barn and extended its existing premises after securing a £150,000 business loan from HSBC UK.
The funding has provided business partners, John Walley and Charlotte Mercer of Long Meadow Goats, with an additional 1,000 sq ft of space to increase farming capacity after a strong first year in trading. The business, which prides itself on sustainability and high animal welfare standards, will use the extra barn space to rear more one-week-old billy goat kids before turning them out to graze free range across the farm’s 16 acres.
On a global stage, goat meat makes up 60 per cent of red meat consumption but, in the UK, it has traditionally been reared for dairy purposes only. However, consumer demand for goat is increasing as a healthy alternative to other red meats and requires less intensive farming practices.
Goat meat is set to hit the mainstream market in 2019 and, with extra capacity, Long Meadow Goats is confident of increasing its existing client base outside of London, where the business supplies most of its meat to high-end restaurants and butcheries.
Charlotte Mercer, Co-owner of Long Meadow Goats, said:“The extra barn space will allow our business to grow organically. 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 fulfill this demand and most importantly continue to produce high-quality British free range meat without compromising on animal welfare. Thanks to the support from our HSBC UK Relationship Manager, Ritin Jogia, we can look forward to a bright future.”
Andy Hipwell, Agricultural Director for the Midlands, HSBC UK, said: “Jonathan and Charlotte have spotted an opportunity to be early movers in a niche market, which is set to expand over the coming years. 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.”