Table Magazine
Food is our common ground, a universal experience.

Food Stories by Table Magazine

A collection of food stories by Table Magazine and contributors from around the world.

Preview of Vol 2: Kid Goat


“As humans we tend to bugger things up, if you look at nature and animals - though yes it can be positive - normally the problems come from our input,” Lizzie Dyer, born and bred farmer and founder of Just Kidding, explains. “So, when it came to the business, I thought how would the goats be in the wild? What do they want and need to strive? Then I try to mimic that with how we farm them.” 
It sounds simple enough, but as the UK’s very first outdoor-reared commercial kid goat farm taking surplus billy goats from the dairy industry, and rearing them for a unique, premium meat, they started with no initial market, no guidelines and no government support – and the exorbitantly high costs that come with that. This lead Lizzie and her partner Jamie to really question everything about our relationship with goats in this country, beginning by working with the dairies. 

“They were skeptical on my behalf, but they were also thrilled about the idea that there could be an opportunity there. When a kid first comes out, you’re just pleased it’s alive and healthy – but when you realise it is a boy, you think well, what can I do? There’s no market for them,” Lizzie explains. 
Despite goat being a mainstay ingredient in cuisines and cultures globally, goat and kid meat in the UK generally speaking isn’t as popular as its dairy counterpart, leaving tens of thousands of billy goats euthanised shortly after birth as a by-product of the industry – with no ‘use’ and no system of support in place to accommodate rearing British goat meat for the UK market. 


What Just Kidding and wholesalers like Cabrito are doing is offering a solution to farmers, dairies and conscious consumers alike. Like lamb and mutton, Lizzie explains, kid and goat meat are “two separate entities, cooked a different way, both brilliant in their own right”, but kid retaining a higher value. Kid can be served pink, and cooked more quickly than traditional goat meat, with a much more tender and mild taste. This has lead to a surge of popularity amongst chefs and consumers looking for a highly nutritious, delicious, ethical red meat. 

“I try and run the business, look after the animals and produce meat with integrity. Obviously, we're a commercial farm rearing them for meat to make a living, but if there’s respect all the way through, everything's better,” she says. 
Lizzie and Jamie focus totally on what that word means – from the land straight through to the customer. In agreement with the idea of eating less meat with a higher quality, they concentrate on selling direct to consumers, something that is key to their ability to be able to farm in this way. 


“I want the land here to be just as useful and productive for the next generation. We’ve been incredibly lucky to come and live and farm here so I think it’s only right to do it in a responsible way.” The farm harvests rainwater for a sustainable supply, runs the fences off solar power, uses an eco-feeder for milking, packages its products as responsibly as possible using Wool Cool, and collaborates with an organic tannery to repurpose the skins – as well as taking the goats from a singular high-welfare dairy and working with a local, family abattoir. They’ve even started courses on rearing kid goats, hoping that more will follow in their footsteps and ultimately less of this meat will go to waste.  

“You as consumers hold the power, so if you want higher welfare and more sustainability, you have to take responsibility. You have producers out there doing good things, but they will only strive and grow and become the norm if they're supported.” 

Take it from a business that started with zero. 

Words and Photography by Maria Bell