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This case study focuses on meat goat marketing involving one distinct immigrant group residing in one area of Columbus, Ohio: the Somalis. There are about 20,000-25,000 Somalis living in Columbus, the second largest concentration of Somalian immigrants in the U.S. after Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. It is estimated that Columbus Somalis consume the meat from about 14,000 goats each year. The objective of this pilot study is to analyze the meat goat marketing and consumption patterns of the Somali immigrant population of Columbus, Ohio. Understanding gained in the Somali meat market will assist in determining the feasibility of establishing a more structured marketing system, including the possible need for a processing plant dedicated to goat meat. The Southern Ohio Meat Goat Task Force is a group of meat-goat producers, marketers, OSU extension professionals, and Ohio Cooperative Development Center staff members that are working with the meat-goat industry to assess and develop goat production, processing, and meat marketing in Ohio. Tours of several retail shops within the Somali community were conducted to further understand the preferences of the Somali population. Interviews were conducted with a slaughter-plant manager in nearby Detroit, Michigan, the current major supplier of fresh goat meat to the Columbus market. During January and March 2003, two focus-group sessions were organized and conducted by task force members with Somali consumers, entrepreneurs, and retail grocery owners. Significant results and discussion presented in detail within this research report include: Somalia's prefer fresh over frozen goat meat, pricing is a key determinant in meat choices for Somali consumers, goat meat and lamb meat are somewhat substitutable in Somali diets, Somalis will substitute halal chicken and beef if lamb and goat meat is not available, lean grass-fed carcass is preferred to a grain-fed goat, Somalis eat goat meat 1-2 times a day year-round, most people feeding families buy a whole carcass, and only a slight preference was indicated between the halal and kosher slaughter practices.


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