I don’t like to see a resource being wasted. Where possible, markets should be used to make the most of all resources. This is especially the case in meat, where nothing should be wasted.
One of the resources routinely wasted in Australia is the roo. We have an abundance of them, and I read with interest an article in the farmonline about the move to commoditise them (see here).
The idea is to turn skippy into a resource for farmers to harvest instead of the front bumpers of those travelling through rural areas. Sounds good to me.
So what is our export market for one half of our coat of arms?
The first chart below shows the top five export destinations that regularly import kangaroo meat since 2009. The top five markets are Belgium, Germany, South Africa, PNG and the Netherlands.
The average export value of the kangaroo export trade has been A$16.4m since 2009. It’s not huge, but it is still reasonable and supports 3000 people. If the industry was supported to grow, could it increase in size?
As someone who grew up in Europe, I remember roo meat on menus, and it was generally regarded as a novelty to try (usually for a laugh). Maybe some marketing could help it overcome any stigma and become a valued piece of meat.
There are an estimated 40m roos in Australia, and creating an industry around them will help keep the numbers lower.
One big advantage for Australia is that we have no competitors in the global roo trade.