Friday 4 December, 2020

Goatober goes online for 2020 celebrations

Goat Slider. Photo courtesy GoatoberTT

Goat Slider. Photo courtesy GoatoberTT

Goatober 2020 will be held online.

This year, the annual celebration of goat products holds even more significance as COVID-19 restrictions and job losses have led to more people rearing goats. 

Goat and sheep breeder Lindsay Gay, who runs Up The Hill Farms in Moruga made the observation.

He said: "When people started to lose their jobs, they began planting gardens but soon, we started to get requests for young goats and sheep."

"I could not keep up with the demand after a while."

He said this was also the case with some of the other large breeders, and believes it's a good sign for the future.

Gay, whose farm also produces the Nubian brand of goat milk for the local market, said sales of his milk had increased significantly.

"I don't know if people are becoming more health-conscious as a result of Covid-19, but they are seeking out goat milk more than before," he said. "I sell milk at the Namdevco Farmers Market in the Queen's Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain and I've seen my clientele more than double there."

Goatober TT founder Franka Philip said she was heartened by the way Trinidadians supported the local goat industry in recent months.

"During lockdown, people were cooking more and I got inquiries from people who not just wanted to cook more goat but were intent on eating local goat," she said. 

Goatober is a global movement that takes October to celebrate the eating of goat products. It was celebrated in T&T for the first time last year but this year, due to Covid-19 restrictions, the celebration will mainly be online.

"Like other event promoters, we were planning for a bumper 2020, but we just have to adjust to the times," said Philip.

"What we're doing is inviting our followers to cook along with us. Every day for one week, from October 24, we'll be posting a couple of recipes on our social platforms and asking people to post pictures of the meal they've cooked.

"We know that Trinis love to cook, so let's see how they do with this challenge."

Philip is optimistic about 2021 and the prospects for Goatober TT. She says this year has given a lot of insight as to how to reimagine future events.

"Of course, we would love to stage a massive 'Goatober returns' event but maybe the key is to do smaller, focused events that can throw more of the spotlight on producers of local goat products. We're looking at different scenarios and of course, it depends on the situation with the virus," she said.

"Additionally, we are still committed to working closely with the industry and our global Goatober network to provide training opportunities. In 2021, we will work on finding the best way to facilitate this."

To follow Goatober TT's 2020 campaign, follow them on Instagram at @GoatoberTT and on Facebook at facebook.com/GoatoberTT.

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