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Diversification Professor Toby Mottram

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1 Diversification Professor Toby Mottram

2 Case Study: Madgeon Lane Farm Buckland St Mary 1988-1998 13/03/13

3 Once upon a time… 1983 Milk quotas introduced 1985 Researched Feasibility of commercial goat farming Only 5 commercial farms found 1984-1987 Bought and sold a holiday cottage £30k profit 1988 bought ruined pig unit in Buckland St Mary

4 Research.. ….France …….Italy…

5 Research Markets Milk On-farm processing ? How to feed goats house them Milk them Disease Issues Where to find them

6 Market Research Milk was sold from smallholder goats Often poor quality and with variable price No goat’s milk in supermarkets Only 3 cheeses sold in supermarkets Only one from UK Supermarkets said they wanted more product

7 Become an expert…

8 Then we found it…


10 What did we get for £28k Housing for 40 goats A slurry store a well road access a building suitable for conversion to a dairy planning permission for a caravan a lot of scrap metal

11 Planning is the biggest issue for a start up Befriend the planning officer Identify the councillors on the planning committee Tell them what you want to achieve (rural growth) Learn how to do the forms yourself Plant trees Make friends and allies Planning is a political process – don’t be too proud to be nice to people you loathe 5 different planning applications in 8 years caravan renewals farm buildings house in principle house in detail

12 First Livestock Arrive pre-impregnated 1988 20 goatlings 1989 Kid down Milk production starts

13 Disaster 1! A scare story killed the market Our milk buyer went bust Creamery stopped taking on new suppliers Hundreds of goats were put down

14 Recovery Rented out goats Kept kidding in Bought good genetics Kept the day jobs Cut costs Built up capability

15 New Ideas no feeding during milking

16 Completely Housed

17 Development 1992 Milk Contract from Lubborn Cheese 20 goats milking 1993 40 goats milking 1995 80 goats milking New housing built

18 Disaster 2 Goats began to sicken and die during second lactation Vets said it was worms, or scour I researched in the library at Bristol Vet School Diagnosis = Johnes Disease Culling and vaccination put in place

19 Development resumes 1996 80 goats in milk Milk sold = 90 k litres Milk price 42p/l All feed bought in Gross Margin £173 per goat Planning Permission for a house

20 Success at last house built in 1997

21 Done! our own farm earning £20 k net in 1999 growing..

22 Technical Challenges of our diversification New markets Risky High value Husbandry Issues Feeding unknown Experts unreliable New diseases – due to new ways of managing

23 Summary Find a niche market Do your research Costings Market testing Assess the risks Raise some money Go for it Be ready to stop – identify breakpoints

24 But this was not the end….

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