Goose producers flock to Shropshire

Goose eggs have enjoyed an “unbelievable” year and the feather market has been strong too, according to Eddie Hegarty, chairman of the British Goose Producers.

Addressing the group’s annual “goose walk” in Shropshire, he said supply couldn’t keep up with the demand for eggs. Producers should therefore stick to their prices and “be confident that there is a good market again”.

With this year’s increases in feed and energy costs, farmgate prices for finished geese would need to rise by around 5%-10%, he added. Mr Hegarty believed costs were unlikely to drop next year. “The closer you get to 10% now, the better,” he advised.

Roger Ransen, who manages public relations for the group, gave an update on the work he had been doing to promote geese during the year.

With the aims of getting more geese on to menus in restaurants and hotels, he had approached Norwich catering college – one of the top five in the country – to develop new recipes and to get students interested in cooking with geese.

The lecturers and students experimented with “water bathing”, a method of cooking in which more water is retained, allowing restaurateurs to get a higher meat yield from the bird. Mr Ransen said that lecturers were surprised by the “lean looking and delicate flesh” that this method produced.

He also iterated the importance of using the British Goose Producers’ logo in promotional material and keeping a good online presence.

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