GLOBAL demand for kangaroo and goat meat has seen the value of the game skyrocket.
Game meats come from hunting and include rabbits, wallabies and ducks.
Butchers believe anything is possible for Australian game as they market the meats to new countries in the same way beef and wine are spruiked* overseas.
The value of kangaroo grew by 90 per cent, and goat by 146 per cent, in the three years to 2015-16, new figures have revealed.
Ray Borda, founder of Macro Meats, the company that controls the largest distribution of wild game kangaroo meat in the world to retailers, said kangaroo meat is now being sold as a premium product.
“It has mainly gone up in value overseas, not so much in Australia,” Mr Borda said.
“We used to previously sell ‘kangaroo’. It did not matter if it was a red, an eastern grey, a western grey or a euro.
“But it is like saying all wine is the same.”
Mr Borda said about five years ago his company had a “light bulb” moment and spent millions of dollars developing techniques to grade the meat.
The meat is now labelled with specific flavours including Paroo, Malleeroo and Mulgaroo.
“I have been doing this for 30 years and only five years ago saw the light,” Mr Borda said.
Mr Borda said Japan, Hong Kong, Scandinavia, Vietnam, Singapore and increasingly Canada had been strong consumers of Australian beef and could be the same for kangaroo.
“We made sure every country got the flavour profile they want,” he said.
Prahran Market butcher John Cesters Poultry* and Game owner Chris Gavriel has noticed a huge increase in demand for kangaroo.
“Eight to 10 years ago people would cringe when they saw it in the window but now people are interested and buying it,” he said.
“Now on Australia Day we can do up to 100kg of kangaroo meat for that one day.”
Melbourne chef Scott Pickett of Estelle and Saint Crispin restaurants has always loved kangaroo meat and thinks its recent popularity rise could come from Australians starting to look inward.
“We are starting to look locally and figure out what we have here and what we can enjoy that is native to our country,” he said.
“People like a bit more variety* in life and in their food so kangaroo can be that for people.”
on the wane: in decline
poultry: chickens, ducks, eggs and other food products from birds
variety: different things
LISTEN TO TODAY’S STORY
Activity 1. Game meat
Read or listen to the article carefully and complete the following questions.
• What is this article about?
• How has Ray Borda and his company changed the way that kangaroo meat is marketed?
• Which countries are Mr Borda and his company hoping will become strong consumers of kangaroo meat?
• Why has kangaroo meat become a more popular choice in Australia?
• Why might people have ‘cringed’ when they saw kangaroo meat for sale in the past?
• Have you ever eaten kangaroo meat? What did you think about it?
I• if not, would you be interested to try it?
Extension: Rising value
The article says that kangaroo and goat meat has risen in value overseas significantly in the three before 2015-16.
Find the percentage increase in value mentioned in the article to work out the following problems.
If kangaroo meat was worth $10 a kilogram in 2012-13 overseas, what could it selling for today?
What if it was $8, or $15?
If goats meat was sold for $10 a kilogram in 2012-13 – what could it be selling for today?
What if it was $8, or $15?
Record your answers in a table.
Time: allow 40 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: English, Mathematics, Humanities — Economics and Business
Activity 2. Types of kangaroos
The article mentions several types of kangaroo, the red, western grey, eastern grey and euro. Research each type of kangaroo mentioned to find three things that are common to all four species and something that is unique to each one.
Extension: Fact file
Choose one of these kangaroos and complete a fact file including the following information:
Name (common and scientific)
Where it lives
Any other interesting facts
Include a picture if possible
Time: allow 60 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: English, Science
(Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation)
Pros and Cons
Global demand for kangaroo and goat meat has seen the value of the game skyrocket.
The opening statement could lead to debate over whether or not this is a good thing or not.
Draw a line down the middle of your page.
Use one side for the positive comments and one for the negatives.
Work in a group of four to discuss all the pros and cons of increased demand for kangaroo and goat meat.
Use emotive language to communicate the opinions of the group and make sure everyone’s opinions are expressed.
Time: allow 15 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: English, Big Write and VCOP