New Welsh goat’s milk enterprise – Goatylicious – is the combination of a life-long love of goats and generations of skill.
Carmarthenshire farmer, Laura Seddon, has been helped in her new business by Cywain – a project which supports the development of new markets for growth orientated businesses in the food and drink sector.
Goats have played a pivotal part in 31-year-old Laura’s life, from her grandfather’s farm in Kent to Talley near Llandeilo where her family now farms.
“As a family, we’ve always had goats, my mum had her first goat when she was 17. I’ve grown up with goats – in fact, you could say I’ve been around them since I was a little kid!
Laura undoubtedly gets her love of goats and entrepreneurial spirit from her parents Lynne Jeffrey and Richard Beard, who produced the award-winning Cothi Valley Goats Cheese before starting a cow’s milk free baking business.
The 50 acres farm near the historic Talley Abbey is home to the 60-strong milking herd – descended from Lynne’s original herd of British Alpine, Toggenburg, and British Saanen – from which comes Goatylicious’ milk.
Currently, the raw milk is sold direct to the public from the farm gate, but Laura is hoping to get cafes and delis interested in serving and selling raw goat’s milk as an alternative to cow’s milk.
Raw milk is milk that has not been pasturised, and its production is monitored by the Food Standards Agency*.
“There are regulations governing raw milk, but unlike cow’s milk, we can sell raw goat’s milk to shops and they can then sell it to their customers.
“We test our milk weekly, and the regulations about raw milk are labelled on our bottles.”
Laura’s love of goats also extends to the showring, and this summer she plans to exhibit her Anglo Nubian goats – a present from her husband Ben, who is a former gamekeeper turned fencing contractor.
Mum to eight-year-old Tristan six-year-old, Caitlyn and six-month-old Archie, Laura says,
“I’ve always been the one to look after the goats, Ben’s good with the goats, but he’s interested in anything with a petrol engine!”
Growing the enterprise is very much Laura’s plan, and the next step is to widen her customer base by creating an on-farm pasteurising unit, as the raw and pasteurised milk must be handled separately.
With their own personalities and Welsh names, the goats are all milked on farm and are grazed outside when says Laura “it’s not raining and when they feel like it.”
“My goats don’t like puddles very much. When we moved here from Kent in 2003 we brought 500 goats and the amount of rain was rather a shock to the system for them – but they will stay out in drizzle now!”
“Cywain have been brilliant, they have been amazing helping with developing the branding and labelling, also promotion and accessing new markets, and generally just pointing me in the right direction with the business side of everything.”
Says Cywain Development Manager, Lowri Edwards,
“Laura is so passionate about her goat herd and is bringing a rare Welsh product to the shelves. We look forward to helping Goatylicious grow their markets and help sustain and develop her business in her rural community.”