Friday, August 14, 2009

Goatherds thrive on milk of their stock

By Karen Lapitan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:06:00 08/14/2009

Filed Under: Economy and Business and Finance, Food

ALAMINOS, Laguna— Banking on the novelty of growing goats in the country, Rene Almeda, 54, and sons Art, 27, and Toti, 25, are making a bundle selling goat’s milk to major retailers in Metro Manila.

Rene and his two sons opened Alaminos Goat Farm (AFG) in 2004 initially to breed goats for commercial use.

Later on, the Almedas ventured into the production of goat milk, which they labeled Milk Star Fresh Goat’s Milk.

Farm handling

Rene used to operate a cattle feedlot farm. He and his sons thought of starting a goat farm, driven by the relative high demand for goats and its byproducts.

With P300,000 capital, the Almedas put up their goat farm, starting out with only 50 goats. Now, AFG has 950 milking and breeding goats.

“There was a wrong notion about this business. Some are discouraged by the foul smell often associated with goats. But it mainly depends on how one maintains them,” says Art, who serves as the operations manager of the farm.

He said even the government was skeptical of this kind of business.

But the Almedas proved them all wrong.

Milk production

Art’s younger brother Toti is the brand manager of Milk Star Fresh Goat’s Milk.

It was in 2007 when the Almedas thought of producing milk. They then added 100 more goats to their stock.

At present, Milk Star Goat’s Milk is a supplier to more than 20 supermarkets, mostly in Metro Manila. They also have distributors in Laguna.

Art said that it was not easy at first to introduce goat’s milk to the public.

“We are consistently informing the public about the benefits of goat’s milk. It’s very good for digestion,” says Art.

When milk production started, most of the buyers were from the Chinese community who were already aware of the product’s benefits.


“But the public has learned to appreciate goat’s milk, [which] only takes 20 minutes to digest,” Art claims.

Goat’s milk is perfect for those who are lactose intolerant.

Lacto-vegetarians even recommend goat’s milk because they say it is closer to human milk than cow’s milk.

Now, AFG produces 190 liters of goat’s milk each day.

Still, Art admits that the misconception about goat’s milk remains, so they continue informing people about the benefits of drinking goat’s milk.

AFG imposes strict sanitary measures in producing the goat’s milk before reaching the market. It has its own processing area for milk a few meters from the farm.

The farm is also the first commercial dairy goat farm to receive a license to operate issued by the Bureau of Food and Drugs.

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