GROWTH and long-term viability in the livestock game is as much about thinking outside the square to extract more value for the same amount of work and investment as it is about getting bigger or producing more.
So say Central NSW mixed farmers Craig and Jo Stewart and that's why they are talking goat tallow in skincare products, goat offal in petfood and even goat byproducts in condoms.
Along with cropping and running Hereford cattle for steer production, the Stewarts breed Boer goats at Buena Vista, Collie, and have been selling meat to city restaurants and providers for the past decade.
Operating under The Gourmet Goat Lady brand, they've discovered strong consumer preference, and therefore premiums, for Australian-produced and a farming focus on sustainability.
A big part of sustainability - and indeed farm efficiency - is finding a market for everything produced so there is no waste, Mrs Stewart said.
The Stewarts joined forces with Gilgandra natural food and skincare enthusiast Deb Hall and this month to launch what is believed to be Australia's first skincare range based on goat tallow and essential oils.
Called Frank & Geri Skincare, the products are available online and in two natural health stores and have the backing of some pretty solid market research, thanks to Meat & Livestock Australia.
Consumers who trialled the balm recognised it to be of high quality and MLA's Angelica Pickup said the final product indicates goat tallow used to create a beauty cream could represent a nine-times value multiplier on costs.
Ms Hall said she knew from many years of working in the health food industry there was a strong demand for natural skincare and a consumer desire to support farmers becoming more sustainable.
Tallow has been used as skincare for millennia, before the introduction of chemicals, and there were beef tallow products already on the market, she said.
"It is a naturally stable product and has a reasonable shelf life without the need for preservatives, and other ingredients that may be potentially irritating to the skin," Ms Hall said.
The Stewarts, meanwhile, are hoping to value add other goat byproducts, saying they are keen to see the industry move forward and be recognised as sustainable and productive.
"We have to be smarter if we want to continue farming," Mrs Steward said.
"Farmers are pushed to produce more and more but get paid less and less so we have to look to innovation to go forward.
"Making sure you don't waste anything is key to efficiency. In years gone by, nobody had a wheelie bin - people found a use for almost everything. We have to return to that sort of thinking, and I believe consumers are very supportive of it.
"Making more from a smaller amount of land and livestock is attractive to consumers.
"Nose-to-tail eating is becoming a mainstay for many artisan butchers and consumers are looking to support producers who adhere to these principles."
Mrs Stewart said there was also a 'tremendous push to buy Australian' in the wake of COVID, which savvy producers and agri product developers should look to tap into.
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The story Cosmetics and contraception - finding new uses for goat byproducts first appeared on Farm Online.